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[BW2] Team Building Guide

Discussion in 'Past Gens Discussion' started by Ashton Michaels, Apr 18, 2011.

Moderators: Isa
  1. Ashton Michaels

    Ashton Michaels Member

    Team Building Guide


    I am Ashton Michaels and I’m writing this guide because I have been getting requests for doing so. I have reached #1 myself eleven times, and the first thing I want to let you know is that it’s not solely the team that got me there so many times. The team is important, but skill and knowledge of Pokemon is also needed to be a successful player. By playing a lot and reading about different Pokemon, you will improve your knowledge which will make you do better in Pokemon. Skill is something that grows naturally if you play a lot of battles.

    What this guide is about

    This guide is written to give advice on how to build a good team. What I will not do in this guide, is describing the roles that Pokemon can have in battle (Annoyer, Shuffler, etc.). What I am going to do, is give advice on how to create synergy in your team and how to make your team better, so you can too reach the #1 spot. In the end, I will also give some battle tips that might be useful in your battles.

    Know Your Options

    One of the most important parts of building a decent teams is to know what is available. There are Pokemon that should certainly be considered threats and potentially good options for a team, and Pokemon that should not be used. There's a OverUsed list, so try sticking to that as much as possible when making an OverUsed team.

    Counters / Checks

    a. Pokemon

    When making a team, it's important that you Pokemon that cover eachother's weaknesses as much as possible. If you are going to run a team with 6 Water Pokemon, you will lose to any Electric- or Grass-type. Note that countering Pokemon in Black and White is more reliant on resistances than high defensive stats. Many Pokemon have received gigantic power boosts and therefore can quash many of their would-be counters. The only Pokemon that can still take about any (special)-hit that isn't Super Effective, is Chansey. This also has to do alot with synergy, you can't just put Chansey and Skarmory on the team, if they don't fit in. The aforementioned combination will just slow down your offensive team, being more of a nuisance than of help. Pick Pokemon that work well together, cover each other's weaknesses to create a strong team.

    b. Status

    Status effects can be devastating to a team not prepared for them. Many methods may be employed to safeguard one’s team from the ravages of status effects. One tactic is to have a Pokemon that can use either Aromatherapy or Heal Bell; either move will completely remove all status effects. A common user of such healing moves is Chansey. Another option is to have a Pokemon with an ability that lets it benefit from status such as Heracross. Yet another choice that is similar to the latter is to let a Pokemon with the moves Rest and Sleep Talk absorb status attacks for the team. While not overly reliable, Pokemon with the moves Substitute and Taunt can guard against status effects to some extent. There are also conditions known as “pseudo-statuses”, like Leech Seed or infatuation. Pseudo-statuses are almost always removed by simply switching out. Additionally, some types of pseudo-status are blocked by the move Substitute, and all moves that inflict pseudo-status are stopped by Taunt. Other than that, there is little or nothing that a player can do about pseudo-status.

    c. Field Effects

    There are three field affecting attacks that exist in Pokemon: Spikes, Toxic Spikes, and Stealth Rock.
    If you have 3 Flying-types in your party, you are already weak to Stealth Rock. This will limit your options to switch and can mean a downfall for any team. There are a couple of ways to make your team less susceptible to the detrimental effects of field affecting attacks. The move Rapid Spin will clear the user’s side of the field completely, but Pokemon that learn Rapid Spin don’t necessarily fit on every team. If you can't fit a spinner on your team, make sure you don't have too much set-up bait in your team. For example, you can give Snorlax Fire Blast to prevent Skarmory, Ferrothorn and Forretress from setting Spikes up on you. Besides that you can use levitators in your team to be less vulnerable to Spikes and Toxic Spikes or use a Poison-type to absorb Toxic Spikes. Finally, there's Xatu and Espeon with the ability to bounce back hazards.

    Team Synergy

    Your team has synergy when each individual Pokemon contributes to help achieving a goal. It’s about your team working together as a cohesive unit to achieve your desired outcome in a match.

    Example: You build your team around a certain sweeper. To create synergy, you can build the team around that Pokemon, helping to remove the counters to that sweeper and make it easier for the sweeper to do it’s work. Examples can be setting up screens or hazards. If I want my Raikou to sweep, I have to make sure any special wall is out of the way. To achieve this I can decide to set-up Toxic Spikes or Spikes, preferably with something that covers Raikou’s weakness, like Skarmory. Skarmory can switch in on Earthquake and take hits from physical hard-hitters that try to kill Raikou (Excadrill, Garchomp) and set-up spikes to weaken Raikou’s counters.

    Lead Synergy

    In a battle, your chances of winning will be higher if you don't often find yourself uncertain as to what move you should make. You should be able to make a smart move which immediately gives you the advantage. It might seem like common knowledge, but it is not uncommon to find a player on ladder sacrificing his lead to a bad match up, which should never happen. If you have a lead that loses to another common lead, it is important to keep that in mind when team building.

    Example: Genesekt and Gyarados: when you’re using Genesekt as a lead, you want to have something that can take fire attacks. If you’re up versus a Blaziken lead, you can switch to Gyarados, who can continue to phaze Blaziken or use Dragon Dance. Besides Gyarados taking fire attacks, Genesekt can take Super Effective rock attacks aimed at Gyarados. You will have to discover these kind of combo’s yourself if you want to have a successful team.


    Something may look brilliant on paper, but not do so well in battle. That’s why it’s important to test your team a lot. You may find out that the team sucks overall, but that there’s two Pokemon that really work well together. From there on, you can decide to scrap the team and start over with the two Pokemon that work well together. From there on, you build another team, until you find that everything works together perfectly.

    There are times when your team just ‘stops’ working. At these points it’s important to not give up on the team or to keep battling, but to look closely on what makes the team not work. Most of the time, you will see that a certain Pokemon doesn’t do his job well and can be replaced by something that will support your team better. In the worst case scenario, you decide to scrap the entire team, which is something that can happen. Sometimes it just doesn’t work and you shouldn’t frustrate yourself by holding on to the team.

    Putting it together

    In this section, one will be taken through the process of creating a sample team. For this section, I will use one of my own Dream World teams as example. I want to build my team around two Pokemon, Nasty Plot Thundurus and Breloom. They are both very powerful and have good offensive synergy together, as they take care of eachother's counters. Breloom can hit checks and counters to Thundurus hard, like Excadrill, Ferrothorn, Chansey and Quagsire. Thundurus is there to KO counters to Breloom, like Gliscor, Skarmory and Gyarados.


    Hardtochoke (Breloom) (M) @ Choice Band
    Trait: Technician
    EVs: 240 HP / 252 Atk / 16 Spd
    Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)
    - Mach Punch
    - Bullet Seed
    - Rock Tomb
    - Low Sweep

    Choice Band Breloom is awesome and really works on this team. I don't need Spore or another set-uppers, but straight out offense. Mach Punch does alot to everything non-resistant (even does around 50 percent on flying types like Thundurus and Tornadus though) and Low Sweep 2HKO's even Skarmory. Rock Tomb for flying types, does about 80 percent to Xatu, Gyardos etc. Bullet Seed can do high amounts of damage, even OHKO'ing resistant things if I get lucky with the number of times it hits.


    Magnetox (Thundurus) (M) @ Life Orb
    Trait: Prankster
    EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
    Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk)
    - Hidden Power [Ice]
    - Thunderbolt
    - Nasty Plot
    - Focus Blast

    These are the versions I want to use. Choice Band Breloom and Nasty Plot Thundurus. I don't want too many set-uppers in my team so that's why I'm choosing Choice Band for Breloom.

    Next up, I like teams to have a good defensive core, preferably one that can support the Pokemon I want to sweep with (once again, this is what creates synergy in my teams). I need something to take special hits and that can keep my team alive. So my choice is Chansey, it's a great special wall and it has Wish to support my team.


    Freaky Tiki (Chansey) (F) @ Eviolite
    Trait: Natural Cure
    EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SDef
    Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk)
    - Softboiled
    - Seismic Toss
    - Rain Dance / Wish
    - Thunder Wave

    Now I need something to take care of physical threats and that can get rid of physical set-uppers. I have a fire-weakness in Breloom and fighting weakness in Chansey, so Skarmory wouldn't be any good. So, I'm choosing Gyarados, he can take Fire-attacks aimed at Breloom and fighting attacks aimed at Chansey. Besides that, it can phaze opponent Pokemon and has intimidate to weaken their attacks. Gyarados has good synergy with Breloom, as I have Breloom for Rock / Electric attacks aimed at Gyarados.


    Brunt (Gyarados) (M) @ Leftovers
    Trait: Intimidate
    EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 Spd
    Impish Nature (+Def, -SAtk)
    - Roar
    - Sleep Talk
    - Waterfall
    - Rest

    For Thundurus to sweep, I need things like Chansey weakened. Focus Blast does around 75 - 80 percent to standard Chansey, so I need something to get it at that percentage. Toxic Spikes and Stealth Rock are good options to do that. Besides that, I already have two Pokemon weak to Stealth Rock and the other two are weak to Toxic Spikes and Spikes, so I need something to get rid of that. So I'm using Forretress, for he can use Spikes and Stealth Rock and spin away any hazards. So Forretress has Toxic Spikes to give trouble to ground-types that try to wall Thundurus' Electric attacks and to weaken special walls like Chansey. He also gives me something to switch in on Normal-types attacks.


    Barbarax (Forretress) (M) @ Leftovers
    Trait: Sturdy
    EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SDef
    Sassy Nature (+SDef, -Spd)
    - Toxic Spikes
    - Rapid Spin
    - Gyro Ball
    - Stealth Rock

    And last, I need a lead, because this is Dream World. I want something that can help me remove counters to Thundurus and Breloom, my sweepers. Counters for Thundurus are mostly special walls like Ferrothorn and Chansey, so a fighting type would be good. Since I want to remove Breloom's counters as well, I need something that can take care of Gliscor and flying types. My choice is Mienshao, as it can use Hidden Power Ice to take out Gliscor and it has a powerful fighting attack to destroy special walls.


    Wisewizard (Mienshao) (M) @ Life Orb
    Trait: Regenerator
    EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SAtk / 252 Spd
    Naive Nature (+Spd, -SDef)
    - Fake Out
    - Hi Jump Kick
    - Stone Edge
    - Hidden Power [Ice]

    So this is the team, as you can see everything is working together and that is what makes this team work. Synergy is very important in a team, team members should support each other and work towards one goal. Looking over this team, one can see that there are very few weaknesses that stand out significantly. It is able to take many hits and reply with some of its own, which makes it a decent competitive team, capable of surviving the ravages of threats that would pull a team not so meticulously made apart.

    Battle Tips

    These are some essential tips that you can follow to make you do better in battle:

    • Do not let low-health Pokémon faint! You should keep your Pokémon active as long as possible even if this means switching often. Losing even one team member might ruin a strategy. Try to switch when a type disadvantage comes up. If the risk is too big, like there’s a Thundurus in front of you that might use Nasty Plot, you should attack. If there is no risk, however, switch!
    • Know about Pokémon! This is achievable through reading Pokemon analysis’. You will be in a better position if you know what sets your opponent’s Pokemon may have.
    • Better to be safe than sorry. Prediction can be quite important in battles, but only predict when you have little to lose or if you’re sure the opponent is going to do something. There’s nothing worse than overpredicting, it will make you lose and generally it’s not even needed.


    By now, you should be able to build a well balanced, and well ran team. I hope you have benefited off of this guide, and if you have any questions, feel free to send me a Private Message. Thank you for reading this in depth guide and I wish you happy battling.

    ~Ashton Michaels
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011
  2. Count Dracula

    Count Dracula New Member

    Really well written and formatted, I am sure many were looking forward to this and you made a satisfactory guide. I bet this will help the majority of the players out there! The sample team construction really did help your points sink in! Thanks a lot for this!
  3. S!lver

    S!lver New Member

    Thanks a lot for this guide :3 - it's amazing, and I'm sure that I'm not the only one who thinks so! - I think it should be sticky'd :3
  4. User Name

    User Name Life is a maze

    2 teambuilding guides now. :P
    Poor Harry. XD
    In any case, they do seem to cover different things...or is that just me?
  5. yiran

    yiran Become a Magical Girl!

    Good Guide. It was very entertaining to read. I'm sure this well help a lot of people. Thanks.
  6. Ashton Michaels

    Ashton Michaels Member

    From what I've seen, Harry does focuses more on Pokemon roles and what kind of teams there are. Basic stuff like that is known by most of the community, so I'm not bothering to write about that.

    Also, thanks for the comments, I put time in this, I hope people will be able to learn something from what I've written.
  7. -Manaphy--

    -Manaphy-- Overconsumption

    Good Guide. I've actually used it to make a pretty successful team :X
  8. HeroOfSinnoh

    HeroOfSinnoh Banned

    Great! Now I don't have to bother you in PM. c:
  9. Harry

    Harry Banned

    I didn't make a guide to this kind of thing, because I simply wouldn't know how. Most people who play with my teams complain that they're awful, and I guess it just comes down to the fact that I'm just a different kind of player.
    also; mine was a 'formal' guide, meant only to lay down the basics. I'm glad someone finally made a more advanced and in depth one.
  10. abhicherath

    abhicherath Guest

    yay ashton thanks for listening to so happy, finally i'll try to to make a not-so-shitty team.thanks a lot.
    IMHO this deserves to be stickied.
  11. Ashton Michaels

    Ashton Michaels Member

    No problem, I'm glad my guide is helping some people to build their own successful team.
  12. Lanza

    Lanza New Member

    Good tips here.
    And both guides are about team building and cover basic, but still different essential information. Nibs should read both.
  13. SolBlade

    SolBlade New Member

    Thank you very much Ashton, I really needed the help writing an RMT and team building.
  14. Burnin'Red

    Burnin'Red Official Cookie Stealer

    PO Trainer Name:
    I love this guide! :D
    It really makes things simple for a player who is new to the metagame, after all, playing Pokemon on your DS is much easier than on PO.
  15. twofivefive

    twofivefive don't call it a comeback

    Great guide, but I will probably never use this, no offense. My best teams are aimed at either using obscene amounts of gimmicks (good Pokemon so obscure no one bothers finding a counter) or Baton Pass. However, I do believe this thread should be stickied, it's so amazingly useful to both novices and pros. Lots of people could learn a thing or two (or three, for that matter) from reading this.
  16. Doomnyr

    Doomnyr New Member

    I'm new to playing Pokemon competitively but I do have some success with this team, can you explain or give an example on what you mean but using the spikes to deal that extra bit of damage (I know what it does). Its just I feel that I'm not setting using it correctly. I suppose you using it if you feel your opponents going to swap maybe? I guess I need a bit more exp still. :) But any help will be appreciated.
  17. Lothar

    Lothar New Member

    nice guide~ i really should put more thought into my teams lol
  18. nimz98

    nimz98 New Member

    Thanks this helped me out so much :D
  19. Popsicle

    Popsicle New Member

    nice one ashton :)
  20. harryfaber

    harryfaber New Member

    what do i click on to make my team

    my name is harry too and what do you click on to make your team

    what do i click on
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2011
  21. cosmicexplorer

    cosmicexplorer SWAG

    Try restarting your computer.
  22. 16to1

    16to1 Guest

    how do i start this game
  23. Roy Mustang


    PO Trainer Name:
    Roy Mustang
  24. Twistedspoon

    Twistedspoon New Member

    Nice Guide, but there's some minor grammar errors:

  25. Oshawhat?

    Oshawhat? New Member

    My sample team is something to be feared because i actually use this team and beat all the tough trainers with this in pokemon white.

    1. Haxorus - Level 88. Moves: Outrage, Dragon Dance, Dragon Tail, and Dragon Claw. Item: Choice Band.

    I use Dragon Dance 2-4 times then spam with either Outrage or dragon claw.

    2. Volcarona - Level 76. Moves: Quiver Dance, Heat Wave, Silver Wind, and Bug Buzz. Item: Expert Belt.

    Same strategy as Haxorus: Spam Quiver dance, then use either Bug Buzz or Heat Wave.

    3. Tyranitar - 77. Moves: Dark Pulse, Crunch, Stone Edge, and Earthquake. Item: Chople Berry

    I use Crunch or Stone Edge right away, then use Dark Pulse.

    That is my offensive team sample. Please rate out of 10.
  26. ultimania92

    ultimania92 New Member

    There is a small point I want to raise on this seeing how it's a battle tip: "Sacrificing". "Sacrificing" is a term for letting a Pokemon die if it can increase your odds of a team winning a match. For example, consider that you have a mon that can't switch in again due to being so close to death, whether it be entry hazards or whatever. You have a choice at this point.

    -Let it die, maybe even getting in a last move, so that a counter/sweeper can get in unscathed.
    -Swap it out, saving it as a pivot to an otherwise dangerous move.

    There's no "correct" answer here; only what really makes sense. It's hard to describe, but it's something you'll intuitively come to understand through practice. The only part that can be described is to think ahead in the battle. Don't click so fast, but think some turns ahead. Can you find a final use for it, as a pivot, or can you bring the game closer to the end in your favor by letting it die here and now? Or could you possibly get one last switch-in?

    Also, just letting things with little hp remain is something of a bad idea if it can't stop a stall or sweep plan, as it'll be dead weight; It's often better to let it die so you can get something in unscathed; you'll guarantee more wins. That said, don't overzealously sacrifice if you can help it.
  27. gingerlover101

    gingerlover101 New Member

    this helped me so much ty
  28. Boarbeque

    Boarbeque New Member

    I like how you used a visual Rate my Teamish example to explain the process of making a team. This made your guide different than Harry's guide in my opinion. Harry seemed to explain the strategies and intracacies of a team where as you explained how to construct a team step by step without diving too deep into what Harry had already covered.

    I appreciate both guides equally regardless. Thanks for the great guides!
  29. Brick3621

    Brick3621 New Member

    I never tried that before. Come to think of it, my Togekiss and Luxray are the Pokémon on my team that are the most useful, so I might try building another team around just those two, since my current team is way too dependent on hax. Thanks!
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2011
  30. Samerai97

    Samerai97 New Member

    I really liked your guide, especially since I downright suck in OU, lol. I definitely need to create a really good team asap. ._.
  31. ThatCoolSnorlax

    ThatCoolSnorlax New Member

    Great guide, it helped me out a lot!
  32. Low-D

    Low-D New Member

    For some reason i can never make a decent team i read the guide and had a lot off Wifi battles but i still cant make a decent team :(
  33. MC2011

    MC2011 New Member

    This Really Helps.Thnx!
  34. Yusei803

    Yusei803 New Member

    When team builder come out for android?
  35. natenate

    natenate New Member

    dats trunks
  36. Recker

    Recker New Member

    19,000+ views and only 38 posts. Still a tremendous contribution, though.
    Not much to add, this guide already clears up the basics of teambuilding. Good job.
  37. Brandocore

    Brandocore New Member

    thanks for the guide!
  38. aryansalil

    aryansalil New Member

    I want ARCEUS
  39. Pichu bros

    Pichu bros Banned

    Yeah,that's nice,but where do you make your team?
  40. papertiger66

    papertiger66 New Member

    I thought only battles help increase battle effectiveness!
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