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[BW2] Beginner's guide: How to battle

Discussion in 'Gen 5 Discussion' started by Ashton Michaels, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. Ashton Michaels

    Ashton Michaels Member

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    Introduction

    This guide is written for people that already understand the basic mechanics of Pokemon, ie Battle Clauses and Tiers. If you have no idea what those are, start by learning about those first, before reading this guide. I’ll try to focus myself on the beginners out there, that have been battling for awhile, but just don’t seem to get the hang of it. This guide can alsol be useful for people that have been battling for longer but seem to get a lot of losses. I am aware there is a beginner’s guide on the Pokemon Online Wiki, although I find it very lackluster in terms of explaining how to do well in competitive battling as a beginner. Hence, I made my own.


    Team creation

    To start off with, you should know that people play to win in the competitive Pokemon environment. This means that people will not use Pokemon in their team because they are cool, but because they are viable in the tier they’re playing in. If you use Pokemon based on if they are cool, you’re most likely going to lose most battles. If you want to stand a chance against more experienced players, you will have to make a team of Pokemon that are in the tier that you want to play. If you have troubles building a team, take a look at one of the many guides here on the Pokemon Online forum. My suggestion is that you use one of the top teams over in the RMT sections that you find easy to use, until you get the hang of competitive battling. I started out this way too many years ago, and it’s the best way to learn the ways of competitive battling in my opinion.


    Switching

    One thing that beginners don’t seem to understand is that you can switch. Most beginners don’t switch during battle, but act like it’s the cartridge they’re playing, and let a Pokemon die before switching a different one in. This is not the way to victory in competitive play. If it’s obvious that the opponent is going to outspeed and KO you, or if you are at a type disadvantage, switch. If your Pokemon is at 25 percent health, and you have a safe switch to go to, switch. Don’t let something die because you’re lazy or think that a Pokemon with low health can’t be of use anymore. In the beginning, don’t be surprised if people predict your switches to hit your incoming Pokemon with a super-effective attack. After you learn to switch, you can take that next step, which is predicting opponent’s moves yourself.


    Prediction

    Good prediction is important in being successful in competitive battling. This doesn’t mean that you need to predict every single move, which will most likely lead to overprediction. In turn, overprediction leads to one of your Pokemon being KOed, which could cost you the game. You need to weigh the rewards and risks before every decision you make. Don’t just do something, think about it. This is one of the common mistakes beginners make, they quickly make a move without thinking. To give an example of how to make a decision based on risks and rewards:

    You have a Tyranitar out, while the opponent switches in a Lucario. Naturally, you are at a type disadvantage. Now you think about the risks and rewards; if you stay in, Lucario KO’s you. If you switch out however, it might Swords Dance and from there KO the rest of your team. Because the reward (preventing Lucario from sweeping your whole team) is bigger than the risk (losing only Tyranitar), I decide to use Focus Punch.

    Of course, above situation most likely would happen during midbattle, when everything is weakened. In the beginning you can play safe by switching, because you probably have a hard counter for Lucario. If you have the option to go to a safe switch, do it. Don’t try to predict when you don’t have to. An exception would be if you’re at a losing position, when you’re forced to take more risks.


    Team preview

    In Gen 5 Wi-Fi metagame, you have the chance to look at your opponent’s team before the battle starts. Use this to create a battle strategy. Look at your opponent team and look at what Pokemon in your team has the most potential to sweep, and what requirements have to be met to make that sweep possible. Example:

    I have a Dragon Dance Haxorus, but I see that the opponent has Skarmory and Suicune. I can never get past both of those when they're at full health. This means that I have to try to weaken Skarmory and Suicune enough so that they can’t stop Haxorus. This might mean doing things like using Explosion on Skarmory. If that's what is needed to weaken it enough for a potential sweep, do it.

    The point is, never go into battle without a strategy. Look at what the opponent’s team is weak to, and what things you need to be aware of in the opponent’s team. If they have a Dragonite, and your only counter is a Cloyster, you need to make sure that you don’t let Cloyster get KOed before his Dragonite is KOed. In short, don’t just think in short term, but also in long term.


    Losing

    Especially in the beginning, you will lose a lot. Everybody that started Pokemon has had this happen in the beginning. The point is to not give up and stay motivated. If you continue battling and reading stuff about Pokemon, you will get better quickly. Even when you’re getting better, you will still get losses, especially since the role of luck is so present in Pokemon. At the end of the day, new players should realize that, while winning is important, any individual win is near meaningless. Any given player can win on any given ladder match; what is more important is winning in the long run. The best player in the world can still lose, even to newcomers, but will likely be able to maintain a much higher win-loss ratio.
     
  2. DSM01

    DSM01 Jammin' out

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    Great guide, it looks like solid advice for inexperienced players and fits together nicely with your previous battling guide. As with the last one, I think that the section on prediction is easily the most important, especially as you gain more experience. I think you summed it up best in the previous guide:

    Even though I was already an accomplished player when I came across this, I found it helpful. The best advice I can give to beginners is to predict more as the game goes on—there's no point in taking huge risks early in the game. With practice, you'll find that you do this automatically, but you should still always keep this in mind as sometimes it can be quite tempting to predict, which could lead to you losing one of your Pokemon or leaving one of your opponent's Pokemon still alive.

    One more thing that I think is integral to high level battling (although still useful for beginners) that you didn't touch on is knowing when to let a Pokemon die. Sometimes, usually early- to mid-game, you'll find yourself in a situation where, in order to take on a particularly troublesome Pokemon on the opponent's team, you can either switch around and eventually kill it or let something die and revenge it right there. In the first scenario, while none of your Pokemon may faint, you could end up with three or four members of your team losing a large chunk of their HP, which could come back to bite you later in the game. On the other hand, letting one Poke die means that you'll still have the rest of your team in good condition, but the one Poke you sacrificed could turn out to be the Poke that would've allowed you to deal with the opponent's team much easier. This is where knowing which Pokemon to sacrifice comes into play, although this is eased by Team Preview. If you're playing DW, you'll need skill and a bit of luck to come out of the exchange on top. Try to keep your Pokemon alive for as long as possible, but don't be afraid to let one die if it can put you in a better position.
     
  3. AnneWintour

    AnneWintour Elitist bundle of sticks

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    The better safe than sorry isn't really true, of course there is risk reward but you have to take risks, play aggresively double switch against stall nearly always against well built stall, especially if you're using Hyper offence you must take risks a lot of them. Also team preview is there so you can select a good lead too this might not seem important but momentum is really really important.
     
  4. User Name

    User Name Life is a maze

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    Wow, another intro to rip. :P

    On a side note, the prediction thing should be helpful to me. I've been trying to pick up some stuff and in turn been overpredicting lately. XD
     
  5. Ashton Michaels

    Ashton Michaels Member

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    @AW: This is focused on BEGINNERS. You are not going to tell them to start double-switching and start hardcore predicting when you don't even know HOW to play. Besides that, the statement you make is fairly obvious, if you have an offensive team you play more offensive, this does not mean offense = taking more risks per se, however. Of you're being reckless with an offensive team you're still going to lose, especially versus stall teams. The team preview is mentioned, it's just obvious that if you make a strategy you know what Pokemon to start with.

    @DSM: I mentioned that you should only switch if you have a safe switych to go to, I don't want to go too much into detail. This is written for beginners, I want them to get to understand how important switching and let it become a natural thing to do, before making things more complicated.

    Again, written for beginners, so no it does not have much stuff in it that's for people that have been playing a bit longer or a lot longer.
     
  6. Nexus

    Nexus Legend Killer

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    Nice guide. Sticky much?
     
  7. Luck Is For Losers

    Luck Is For Losers Prospective YT Narrator

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