Hey I'm Havok, and this is jackass my team building guide. To many times on this forum I have seen people ask for advice on their teams, and nothing rustles my jimmies more than when people respond giving pooped advice like "You should add a water type" or "If X pokemon dies your team is swept by Y". I think most of us can probably move beyond the strategic knowledge of a 10 year old. So far in Pokemmo I would say I have been decently successful with a few different teams, and have battled many very good, and too many /terrible/ teams. The point of this guide is to hopefully help new players and others on how they can build a better team and improve their current ones. So, in this guide I will cover team synergy, lead synergy, roles of pokemon, threats, and different types of teams.
Roles of Pokemon
Although most players probably know what these are, I am including them for the really new players. It is important in this guide to understand the different individual roles of pokemon since I will be refering to them often. A role that is best suited for a pokemon is usually determined by its basestats and moveset, and some pokemon can have multiple roles. For example, dragonite can be a physical or a special sweeper, or a Blissy can be a special wall and a support (which I will get into shortly). So, here are the basic "roles" of pokemon.
A physical sweeper is often defined by its high speed and physical attack. They are meant to inflict massive damage to as many pokemon as possible, but often have low defenses. Common physical sweepers in Pokemmo are Tauros, Aerodactyl, and gyrados.
Similar to physical sweepers, special sweepers are defined by their high special attack and high speed. They are also meant to inflict as much damage as possible and can often OHKO pokemon. But, like physical sweepers they usually have low defenses. Common special sweepers are alakzam, jolteon, espeon, and starmie.
Special walls are pokemon that have high HP and high special defense. They are meant to counter common special sweepers and special attacks such as starmie and alakzam. Common special walls are blissy, snorlax, and umbreon.
Physical walls are like special walls, but have high HP and high defense and are meant to counter physical sweepers and physical attacks. Common physical walls are dusclops, slowbro, and steelix.
A phazer is simply a pokemon that uses a "phazing" move such as roar, whirlwind, or haze to counter pokemon that set up using calm mind, dragon dance, etc. Common phazers are steelix, houndoom, weezing, and arcanine.
Some people have mixed definitions of a "tank", what I always referred to a tank was a pokemon that could not only take a lot of hits, but could hit back or set up with a lot of damage such as slowbro.
A utility/support pokemon very simply helps support other members of the team by using moves like light screen, safeguard, with, aromatherapy, or using status moves on the enemy pokemon. Common supports are venusaur, exeggcutor, umbreon and blissy.
Synergy. What every team needs and strides to accomplish in as many ways as possible. Simply, synergy is when a team works together. Works to its strengths and covers its weaknesses, and acts as a single unit to achieve whatever type of goal your team tries to accomplish, whether to stall, sweep, etc. For example, if a team is built around a sweeper, lets say starmie, the other members of the team need to try to clear walls that stop starmie from sweeping such as blissy, and snorlax. Therefore, something like machamp would work well with starmie because it not only can help take dark attacks but can OHKO blissy and snorlax. Another pokemon that would work well with starmie and machamp would be a pokemon that can take threats to starmie and machamp, like opposing starmie or exeggcutor, so something like snorlax would work very well. Also, starmie can help take fighting attacks that snorlax would be weak too.
So just keep in mind, some pokemon work really well together to cover each others weaknesses, as pairs, trios, or quads, and form defensive cores. Pretty much every team, unless a hyper offense team, needs some type of defensive core. Because of this and the stall meta that currently exists in pokemmo, snorlax, blissy, dusclops, and umbreon are incredibly common and at least one of those 4 are on nearly every single team because they are checks to just so many pokemon and so many different threats, and often provide incredible amounts of utility, support, and balence to teams. The defensive core is probably the most important aspect of team building, and one of the most important parts of battling. Recognizing your opponents defensive core and your own defensive core, and manipulating and trying to break your opponents defensive core and then abuse whatever threat on your team that penetrates it and sweeps, and at the same time keeping your own defensive core as healthy and intact as possible to counteract aggresion from your opponent. Because of this, battles are often about the push and pull, the momentum and offense and defence of each individual turn. If you lose a battle or find yourself not having anything to switch to, its because your defensive core has been broken or you had no core in the first place.
So many teams I see are just /bad/ because they are simply a hodgepodge of pokemon. Another common mistake I see people make is they base teams off /types/ and not threats. Having each pokemon be a different type isn't always ideal, in fact the most successful team I've ever used back in 4th gen had 3 dragons and 3 steels. Also, basing the synergy and switching on types is helpful, but really isn't what you want. Base your synergy on threats, as in actual pokemon, not types. Make a common threat list (like mine below) of the most common pokemon in the game, offensive and defensive. Your team should have some type of check or answer to every single one of them. If you simply have no answer to one of them, you need to change something on your team to account for it. Honostly, with the few pokemon available in the game compared to other gens, this should be much easier than like in 5th gen. However, having all the basic types covered or recognizing what individual types you are weak to can still be helpful, therefore I have found this team building tool from marriland to be helpful. Although it is really made for 4th gen, it can still apply to Pokemmo.
Simply, choosing a lead. I often see players asking "what should be my lead". It simply should be something that gives you the immidiate advantage, and does so by countering common leads. Often, a pokemon that is fast or inflicts sleep often make goods leads. Pokemon such as venusaur, exeggcutor, jolteon, aerodactyl, crobat, and starmie are therefore often common leads. It is really just important to make sure that whatever lead you choose, if it is countered you have several easy switches to whatever might threaten it, keeping the momentum in your favour.
Simply, the most common and better pokemon in the game. When Karen said "Strong pokemon, weak pokmon, that is only the selfish perception of people. Truly skilled trainers should try to win with their favorites", sorry Team Mantra, but that's kind of bullshit unless your favorite pokemon just happen to be the strongest. Now don't get me wrong, some lower tier pokemon when played correctly can be amazing, incredibly effective, and can sometimes completly catch your opponent offguard, but you know, someone like farfetched or beedrill is simply never going to be a valued and effective member to any team. Below, is a list of the most common defensive and offensive threats. Any good, solid team should have some type of answer to all of these.
Revenge Killers, Checks, Counters, Lures, and Predicting
As suggested by other pokemmo members I have decided to add this section. This is to clerify partly what these terms mean, what they are exactly, and how to use them in your teams and battles. I also think they are important to understand when making your team to not mistake a check for something like a revenge killer. Also, I will be basing this section of this guide from serebii-
It also has a very good explnation of Counters, checks, walls, and lures, as well as some good examples. The only slight problem is that the examples are from 4th gen so they don't quite apply to the current 1st/ kind of 2nd gen Pokemmo. Also, another guide I would suggest from smogon explains how one might set up including a "lure" in a team. Although it once again applies to 4th gen, the concept is the same for Pokemmo and other gens-
Finally, I literally made up examples for these randomly, so if you have better ones, please feel free to suggest them. (:
A counter is very simply a pokemon that can switch into another pokemon with little to no risk, and then either OHKO it back or force a switch. For example, slowbro is a counter to charizard because slowbro can come in on charizard and take flying attacks, fire moves, and focus punches all day long, and then hit back with surf or start setting up calm minds. Because slowbro can completely dominate charizard like this, slowbro is considered a counter to charizard. Almost all counters are very beefy walls/tanks like slowbro, snorlax, steelix, etc.
Many newer players mistakenely assume any pokemon that beats another 1 v 1 pokemon is a "counter" to it. For example, starmie is a counter to gengar because it is faster and can OHKO gengar with psychic. This is incorrect, because although starmie is faster and can OHKO, it cannot switch in safely and take hits from gengar. Because of this, starmie is actually a Revenge Killer to gengar. It can come freely after a pokemon dies (hence the name) and then either OHKO gengar or force a switch. Most revenge killers are very fast, and often have either sometype of priority (Like extremespeed on arcanine) or escape-preventing move/ability (Like pursuit or arena trap on dugtrio). , However, because there are no choice scarfs in Pokemmo, and pursuit I'm not even sure works and isn't available on pokemon like Houndoom yet, there aren't many true "revenge killers" availible in the game. So keep in mind when evaluating your team using the threat lists, that you have checks/counters to all those pokemon, not simply revenge killers if you can manage it.
A check is basically kind of like a less effective counter. It switches into a pokemon with some/minimal/no risk and "checks" what it does, and maybe counters it. Since there are so many different types of pokemon and moves, many pokemon have multiple sets or varients they can run. Something like dragonite for example can be physical or special, which is why you would need something to check with relative safety to see what it does and then choose the appropriate method of countering and dealing with the threat. For example, blissy is a check to gengar. It can switch into it pretty safely as long as you predict correctly, can see what it can do. Does it have focus punch? Use an attacking move first turn like shockwave to find out and if not then maybe paralyze with thunder wave and status it, and force a switch. But, it is not an all out counter, if your opponent is good at predicting they could predict you switching in your blissy and focus punching, which is why gengar could also be a lure.
A lure basically purposely "lures" out a certain pokemon, baits you, and then surprises you with an unexpected move or switch. For example, lets go back to blissy switching into gengar. The gengar might still have focus punch, but instead of revealing it, he might immidiatly switch or thunder for a turn faking like he doesn't have it, making you think that blissy is now a counter to gengar, that gengar can't touch blissy. And then when gengar comes in again, your clever opponent predicts your switch to blissy and focus punches, and now all of a sudden you're in a world of hurt with blissy down and your defensive core probably broken. This technique is often used to clear out certain defensive (or sometimes but rarely, offensive) threats like blissy, snorlax, umbreon, and then sweep with whatever sweeper like starmie was previously walled by one of those three. One common one is luring the explosion. Have something like golem out and then switching in like a blissy, to immidiatly switch to dusclops predicting the obvious explosion. This is usually very risky and most good players can easily see your trying to lure and predict properly, but if pulled off looks this looks really pro. xD
Sometimes just having a gut feeling and switching and predicting something like a lure properly can be game winning, but also game losing if you over predict your opponent. As a general battling tip, the worst thing in the world is to over predict, but really when you do predict, the important thing is to try* minimize risk, and maximize reward (Obviously easier said than done). "If this prediction is wrong, is my defensive core now broken and I now lose?" or "If I get this prediction right, can X now sweep and I win?" Honostly, making the correct predictions and correct decisions are what separate the good players from the great players. Usually safe predictions though would be be like starmie using surf to OHKO a very low health machamp, you could use psychic, but since surf would OHKO anyways, it is smart to use a different move just incase your opponenet switches. Or if you understand that your opponent would be taking a huge risk to stay in, its probably safe to use a different move or switch yourself predicting the switch. BUT sometimes really risky players will let something stay in hoping you over predict and then OHKO you or THEN switch to something else which can now take the appropriate super effective move on the first pokemon. (Hopefully that makes sense?) All of this taken into account, if you are new to battling, really try to learn to predict or predict predictions from your opponent, you will find you will be winning a lot more if you simply get good reading your opponent. Predicting and decision making is really what makes competitive pokemon battling so diverse, interesting, challenging and fun in my opinion. Since nothing is more crazy and epic than watching two really great players go at it trying to predict and one up each other, and just the mind games that they play can be so fucking fascinating.
Types of Teams
Every team should have a single, common goal. Whether it is to allow for a certain pokemon to sweep, or simply stall your opponent out with status. Therefore a few different types of teams are usually what most people go for. Now these are of course not set in stone, but many teams to resemble something like these.
Balenced teams have a mix of sweepers, walls, and supports, usually 3 walls/tanks, 2 sweepers and 1 support/phazer. These are very common, and often rely on clearing walls and threats allowing the 2 sweepers to do their jobs and sweep. However, remember that the roles aren't always important and having a mix of all the roles does not constitute a good, solid team. Threats are still the most important thing when having a solid team, and good balenced teams always have a good, solid defensive core. A balenced team is usually just some mix of these 3 things.
The boring, but probably the most effective type of team in the current Pokemmo meta, and nearly unbeatable if played correctly. Due to the small number of available sweepers compared to other gens and there being nearly no solid wall breakers, stall teams that often have at least blissy, snorlax, duskclops often are incredibly difficult to deal with and take either flawless predicting or hax to take down. Basically, as the name suggests, get several if not all walls, and simply status and stall your opponent out. I think we should all be thankful entry hazards and skarmory isn't in the game yet, otherwise these would be even worse. Due to the fact battles are mainly level 50 and OHKOing pokemon is harder than at level 100, stall teams are just so strong right now.
Basically a collection of 5-6 sweepers which can take down every single wall and sweep teams, or hyper offense teams which consist of all physical sweepers. In pokemmo we really don't have the variety of sweepers and wall breakers needed to pull this off, and the lack of choice bands and choice specs doesn't help. All this and the fact most battles are at level 50 means offensive teams are rarely effective and honostly I wouldn't reccomend it.
Remember, no matter how good your team looks on paper, testing is essential. There are so many pokemon and so many moves it's incredibly easy to forget something. So, my last piece of advice is test, test, and then test it again. If you find your team is struggling, try to recognize why you lost and if there is any problem with your team. Is a member not doing its job to the fullest extent? Would another pokemon be a better replacement? Try not to scrap the entire team if its not doing well, or at least try to see if 2 or 3 certain pokemon happen to work really well together and stick with that and then edit the rest. ALSO, remember that it might not be the team, it might be you. Teams are only as good as you battle with them, and the way to get better at battling as a whole and with a certain team is practice. We're not talking about the game, we're talking about practice. So seriously, the only way how to get better at battling and predicting is practice. Practice. And Testing. Do it.
Well, that's it at least for now until I think of something else to add. I hope this helps if you ever decide to make a team. Please feel free to post/pm me any suggestions to the guide or additions to the threat list that I might have missed since I honostly made it off memory.
Thanks and Good luck~