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A Statistical Approach on Team Building and Battling *WIP*

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Hello World,

like probably most people here, I've got accompanied by Pokemon my whole childhood through. Just a month ago I've started to actively play PokeMMO and at the same time begun to play competitively. And there we already have the first reason to warn you: Although I do know all Pokemon, their typings and specific tasks from Gen 1-3 by heart, I actually never played against human competitors until Jan 2017 due to lack of link partners.

On the other hand, I do know a bit about statistical analysis and other hardcore nerd stuff, so I guess that can help me to get better at figuring out what to do in PvP. Of course, throwing yourself into queue is by far the best way to improve, but I also like theory crafting. From the latter I have got a buttload incoming for you!


However, you and me should be aware of that statistics or maths in general are not that representative for reality. This in fact is one of the biggest philosophical problems ever. Even Pokemon, although a game based on maths, is filled with such complexity and chaos, that it's very hard to predict the exact outcome of an encounter by numbers only. For actually relevant statistics you'd need to have an insanely huge sample size, which I don't have in this case, so please take the results with a grain of salt! :^)


1. Motivations


  • Display and sort various properties using a spreadsheet (download required for interaction):
    • Highest average damage dealt => Best attackers
    • Figure out the best / easiest ways to sweep specific defenders
    • Lowest average damage taken => Best defenders
    • Figure out the best / easiest ways to wall specific attackers
    • All that considering builds, play rates and more


  • By that:
    • Help creating a Team with good defense and offensive coverage
    • Grant (more or less) easy access to several nice-to-know values, e.g. during battles


The spreadsheet I created definitely offers more functionality than this thread, however if you don't want to mess with it, then that's absolutely fine. In that case it would be nice to let me know how much information you'd wish me to extract. :)


2. The Wall of Numbers {{OverUsed Tier}}



I just put the credits here. This is based on information from:



On 2/19/2017 at 9:10 PM, BurntZebra said:

I do like the overall concept of the thread, but there are some intricacies in certain aspects of pokemon that you can't just apply some blanket rule to all pokemon, when there are unique cases. 


Challenge accepted. jk, in principle he's totally right.


First off, a brief explanation on what I did.

Essentially, I arranged a maximum of two builds per pokemon, calculated the respective stats and let all builds and associated moves hit all pokemon and their two builds once. Thus, by help of the almighty copy-paste and some handiwork, I created a vast array of damage values and derived several weighted averages from the aggregated data. By vast, I mean more than a hundred thousand entries. (please kill me)


The following things are considered: Play rate, EV spread, move set, STAB, type effectiveness, move power, most beneficial status effects (items, abilities, moves), average critical hit bonus and average random attack bonus. Everything with 31 IVs in all relevant stats.



||   ||   ||   ||   ||

V    V    V    V    V

  • This one is a giant among spreadsheet files, so certain actions can take quite some time (half a minute for loading and saving on my AMD FX-4300, 8 GB RAM) or occasionally even lead to crashes - I'd advice not to save the file after sorting to prevent any possible kind of mess
  • Lacking in considerations: Risk (in respect to "in a pinch" stuff, move accuracy, speed), detrimental status effects (Toxic, Thunder Wave, Metal Sound, ...), defense boosts (Marvel Scale, Bulk Up, Calm Mind, ...), healing and more variation in items (Life Ball, Leftovers, Berries, ...) and builds in general, let alone over-time observations of battles (which would be the holy grail of pokemon statistics ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) )
    • Some sweepers, like Belly Drum Charizard or Salac-Reversal Heracross are so overloaded with steroids, that they reach obscene levels of damage when fully boosted, so they literally OHKO everything. However, they can be hard to pull off against more experienced players, so those results should be handled with special care!
    • Weighted means can lead to contradictory conclusions (see Simpson's Paradox), e.g. a pokemon can have higher averages than another in respect to each physical and special defense, but the latter might have a higher total average defense because of the irregular distribution of physical and special attackers aswell as move powers, or shorter: The smaller the partition you look at, the less "distorted" the information.
      Another extreme example: Suppose there's a sweeper that safely insta-gibs both Chansey and Skarmory, but has really shit overall offense averages. It might be weak against the majority of OU pokemon, but by all means, if Chansey and Skarm grind your gears then go for it!
      To bypass the paradox and come to relatively realistic conclusions you have to consider both unique cases and averages.
  • With the upcoming PokeMMO update, I smell a complete tier reset, which definitely is going to obliterate all of the current results. But as I've had some time to test my methods, I'll probably do the same for the upcoming new gen OU tier after the official usage statistics are released. I might also do it for UU and NU, however that depends on your feedback... :^)


What does it do?

Some clarification for each tab:

  • Builds and Results

Here you can play around with the "big" averages. Greyed-out rows are redundant builds.
"Atk+ DMG" refers to the damage dealt with Atk stat boosts only, like Choice Band, or one use of e.g. Swords Dance or Calm Mind. The Guts ability is excluded from this.
"MAX DMG" refers to the damage dealt with all available steroids, again with only one use of status moves. Which one of those values is more representative depends on the pokemon...

This convention applies to all tabs of the spreadsheet.

  • Sweeping X-Y

Mark the entire first row and "Ctrl+F" the pokemon you want to sweep (make sure to search only within the selection), then sort as you please and look out for which pokemon or attacks bring the highest values.

  • Physical/Special Defense

Mark the entire first row and "Ctrl+F" the pokemon you want to wall (make sure to search only within the selection), then sort as you please and look out for which pokemon or builds bring the lowest values.

  • Play Rates and Move Access

Here you can see the ludicrous mess I fabricated considering the chances to encounter specific builds and moves. On the one hand I really need those values, on the other they're completely made up. Maybe more on that in the WIP section... Though the accessibility of moves could be helpful, I guess.


I genuinely hope, that you are able to download, open and arrange the file without problems.


||   ||   ||   ||   ||

V    V    V    V    V


Download link to ODS (BETA) version, (size: 5.38 MB, recommended):

https://www.dropbox.com/s/590lmk8viez9xry/PokéMMO - OU Battling Statistics BETA.ods?dl=0



Download link to XLS (BETA) version (size: 9.53 MB, not yet sure if exported correctly):

https://www.dropbox.com/s/q0alz0xuerontif/PokéMMO - OU Battling Statistics BETA.xls?dl=0




3. OU Offense Results


Below you can see the highest overall maximum damage averages. By that definition, these are not necessarily the "best". Most of them require a certain form of setup to be useful. With such great potential often comes high risk, too, so as always please take the results with a grain of salt.

The overall play rate does not refer to the build but the pokemon usage. The following builds might not even be the most common ones. This list only takes raw, fully boosted damage into consideration as far as order goes. However most of the conclusions I made are based on what I observed in detail with the spreadsheet.


3.1. TOP 10 Physical Damage Potential



1. HERACROSS heracross-f.png

Maximum damage average: 309.7% (not even kidding, that's what this build aims for)

Overall play rate: 21.1%


Build details:


Nature: Adamant

EVs: 30 HP, 252 ATK, 228 SPE (reaches 201 speed with Salac; HP don't matter with Endure)

Ability: Swarm

Item: Salac Berry

  • Endure / Substitute
  • Swords Dance
  • Megahorn
  • Reversal

If it manages to pull off one Swords Dance, gets low HP and reaches that 201 salac-boosted speed (max. 225 for Jolly Endure variant), it'll beat the living shit out of almost everything.

How to counter: Thank god there are things like leech seed, burn and poison, although the Substitute variant kinda bypasses that problem and funnily Heracross' other possible ability is Guts. Only Dusclops, Marvel Scale-boosted Milotic and maybe Weezing are somewhat capable of not getting OHKO'd by this when fully boosted. But I guess, it's not really worth trying to wall it after full setup, so better sweep the bug as fast as possible, before he eats his berry.


2. CHARIZARD charizard.png

Maximum damage average: 187.9%

Overall play rate: 11.0%


Build details:


Nature: Adamant

EVs: 12 HP, 252 ATK, 110 SP.DEF, 136 SPE (reaches 205 speed with Salac; HP for the sake of Substitute; In retrospect I'm not quite sure, what I did there)

Ability: Blaze

Item: Salac Berry

  • Belly Drum
  • Fire Punch
  • Earthquake
  • Double-Edge / Substitute / Crunch / Thunder Punch

Again, wrecks havoc if pulled off well. Double-Edge and Substitute are obviously higher priority than the other two slot choices. Interestingly Double-Edge doesn't really increase coverage but rather functions as a Salac- / Blaze-activator. A Jolly Double-Edge variant could reach up to 250 speed when salac-boosted at the cost of weaker attacks.

How to counter: Leech seed and poison, although the Substitute variant bypasses those. Try to harm it while drumming. Only Milotic, Slowbro and Swampert don't get outright OHKO'd by this when fully-boosted.


3. LINOONE linoone.png

Maximum damage average: 145.8%

Overall play rate: 1.1%


Build details:


Nature: Adamant

EVs: 140 HP, 252 ATK, 118 SPE (reaches 202 speed with Salac; HP for the sake of Substitute+Belly Drum)

Ability: Pickup

Item: Salac Berry

  • Belly Drum
  • Substitute
  • Extremespeed
  • Thief / Flail

Quite a niche pick due to its small move pool, but may have its uses for that juicy Extremespeed, which is able to OHKO things like Venusaur and Arcanine after Belly Drum. Interestingly it also OHKOs all pokemon of the higher speed tiers in relative safety thanks to the priority move, except Aerodactyl. Actually I don't really know, where to put that Flail, because in my mind, a jolly, max speed version with Flail instead of Extremespeed could work, too...

How to counter: Try to harm it while drumming. Forretress, Skarmory and Rhydon work best to wall this.


4. MAROWAK marowak.png

Maximum damage average: 137.8%

Overall play rate: 3.7%


Build details:


Nature: Adamant

EVs: 252 HP, 252 ATK, 6 SPE (reaches 66 speed)

Ability: Rock Head

Item: Thick Club

  • Swords Dance
  • Earthquake
  • Double-Edge / Rock Slide / Brick Break
  • Substitute / Fire Punch / Thunder Punch

Slow, but hits like a truck. After one use of Swords Dance, it is very hard to wall as nearly nothing that doesn't levitate or fly can survive that sick Earthquake. The opponent most probably moves first, though, so that's its main weakness.

How to counter:  Only Weezing or maybe Marvel Scale-boosted Milotic can withstand its attacks after Swords Dance, especially when you don't know Marowak's exact move set.


5. RHYDON rhydon-f.png

Maximum damage average: 123.0%

Overall play rate: 1.5%


Build details:


Nature: Adamant

EVs: 252 HP, 252 ATK, 6 SPE (reaches 61 speed)

Ability: Rock Head

Item: (Leftovers)

  • Swords Dance
  • Substitute
  • Rock Slide / Rock Blast
  • Earthquake

Very similar to Marowak, with suprisingly effective coverage.

How to counter:  Weezing, Skarmory and Forretress wall it "best", but still are in 2-hit K.O. range. Flygon can come in on a predicted Earthquake and survive its Rock STAB. Also, Rhydon really doesn't like special attacks.


6. BLAZIKEN blaziken-f.png

Maximum damage average: 107.7%

Overall play rate: 14.5%


Build details:


Nature: Adamant

EVs: 66 HP, 252 ATK, 192 SPE (204 speed after Salac, HP for Substitute)

Ability: Blaze

Item: Salac Berry

  • Swords Dance
  • Substitute / Thunder Punch / Quick Attack
  • Blaze Kick
  • Sky Uppercut / Superpower / Brick Break

With Swords Dance and at low HP, its kick OHKOs a lot of stuff and easily breaks the most popular physical walls, namely Forretress and Skarmory.

How to counter:  Slowbro, Swampert or Milotic can wall and sweep it with relative ease.


7. URSARING ursaring-f.png

Atk+ damage average: 103.1% (without Guts counted in)

Overall play rate: 4.5%


Build details:


Nature: Adamant

EVs: 252 HP, 252 ATK, 6 SPE (reaches 76 speed)

Ability: Guts

Item: (Leftovers)

  • Swords Dance
  • Double-Edge / Return / Facade
  • Earthquake / Superpower / Low Kick / Brick Break
  • Crunch / Fire Punch / Thunder Punch / Ice Punch

Appears to be quite an underdog (or more precisely underbear) to me, as its move set can be hard to predict and Guts is not even considered. If you manage to get that ability going, it becomes a monster. Ursaring is also somewhat bulky on the special side. Like Marowak and Rhydon it suffers from its low speed.

How to counter:  Considering this much move variation, it's hard to find something, which is guaranteed to withstand all those attacks after a Swords Dance boost. Depending whether Crunch or Fire Punch is chosen, Dusclops or Forretress could wall it. Anyways, your best bet would be to have a faster Fighting attacker, which shouldn't be too hard to arrange.


8. SLAKING slaking.png

Maximum damage average: 87.2%

Overall play rate: 7.8%


Build details:


Nature: Adamant

EVs: 6 HP, 252 ATK, 252 SPE (reaches 152 speed)

Ability: Truant

Item: Choice Band

  • Earthquake
  • Fire Punch / Ice Punch / Thunder Punch
  • Return / Double-Edge
  • Focus Punch / Brick Break

Apparently, due to its detrimental ability, you use this thing in a hit and run manner. It packs a beastly punch and can also take quite a lot.

How to counter:  Best walled with Dusclops and maybe Skarmory or Forretress (depends on elemental punch). Of course, gets swept by stronger Fighting STABs.


9. METAGROSS metagross.png

Maximum damage average: 80.2%

Overall play rate: 34.7%


Build details:


Nature: Adamant

EVs: 252 HP, 252 ATK, 6 SPE (reaches 91 speed)

Ability: Clear Body

Item: Choice Band

  • Earthquake
  • Meteor Mash
  • Explosion / Double-Edge
  • Fire Punch / Thunder Punch / Ice Punch

The list wouldn't be complete without it I guess. Very good overall stats, but underwhelming speed. With some good prediction easily the best kamikaze fighter.

How to counter:  Dusclops and Umbreon survive its attacks kinda well, but overall Metagross seems to be hard to withstand without getting KO'd within two hits. Although its especially bulky on the physical side, a STAB'd Earthquake can work quite well against it, aswell as special Fire STABs of course.


10. ZANGOOSE zangoose.png

Maximum damage average: 75.3%

Overall play rate: 5.3%


Build details:


Nature: Jolly

EVs: 6 HP, 252 ATK, 252 SPE (reaches 156 speed)

Ability: Immunity

Item: (Leftovers)/(Life Ball)

  • Swords Dance
  • Double-Edge / Return
  • Low Kick / Brick Break
  • Pursuit / Quick Attack / Fire Punch / Thunder Punch / Ice Punch

Basically a fast and squishy version of Ursaring. Haven't considered a Salac-Substitute / -Endure set yet...

How to counter:  Here's where Dusclops and Skarmory begin to shine as physical walls. Also shouldn't be too hard to hit during or after Swords Dance.


3.2. TOP 10 Special Damage Potential




1. ALAKAZAM alakazam-f.png

Maximum damage average: 73.8%

Overall play rate: 11.3%


Build details:


Nature: Modest

EVs: 6 HP, 252 SP.ATK, 252 SPE (hits 172 speed)

Ability: Synchronize

Item: Special Choice Band

  • Trick
  • Calm Mind / Substitute
  • Psychic
  • Shadow Ball / Signal Beam / HP Fire / HP Electric / HP Fighting

Either trick that special band onto a wall and use Calm Mind or sweep with Special Band. Shadow Ball is good for overall neutral coverage, so it can at least 2-hit the majority of OU. The other options are good for hitting specific pokemon, who withstand its Psychic.

How to counter: Chansey and Umbreon can obviously wall it, but Trick kinda hinders those. Houndoom should work well, however, as Alakazam is very squishy on the physical side, it'd be best to just hit it hard.


2. SLOWBRO slowbro.png

Maximum damage average: 71.9%

Overall play rate: 10.5%


Build details:


Nature: Modest

EVs: 252 HP, 252 SP.ATK, 6 SPE (hits 51 speed)

Ability: Own Tempo

Item: Special Choice Band

  • Trick
  • Surf
  • Psychic
  • Flamethrower / Ice Beam / HP Electric

An interesting one. Nice coverage options and as bulky as it is slow.

How to counter: It can't do as much against other bulky water types like Ludicolo or Kingdra, specifically in respect to trick.



3.3. TOP 10 Allrounders





3.4. Speed


Calculated with base speed + 31 IVs only.



TOP 5:

  • 150 (max. 200) - Aerodactyl, Jolteon
  • 140 (max. 189) - Sceptile, Alakazam
  • 135 (max. 183) - Starmie
  • 130 (max. 178) - Tauros, Espeon
  • 120 (max. 167) - Flygon, Charizard, Typhlosion, Linoone, Slaking


These are solid threats to look out for and, in my view, easy choices to wreck other sweepers. What else would they need that speed for? Of course, there also are the likes of salac berry, swift band, dragon dance, agility, swift swim, paralyze and what not, so it's obviously not that black and white. Their base speed however gives them quite an advantage, so I would say it's advised to either be able to wall them or have a way of outspeeding them.


Speed of popular walls:

  • 101 - Milotic
  • 100 - Venusaur
  • 90 - Skarmory, Ludicolo
  • 85 - Umbreon
  • 80 - Porygon2, Weezing, Swampert
  • 70 - Chansey
  • 60 - Forretress
  • 50 - Slowbro
  • 45 - Dusclops


Can't hurt to know.



4. OU Defense Results



4.1. TOP 5 Physical Walls





4.2. TOP 5 Special Walls





4.3. TOP 5 Mixed Walls





4.4.  Worst Defenders





Edited by Schwubbeldiwubb
Big update incoming

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10 hours ago, SpartacusGD said:

very nerdy but this is very nice of you

I'm studying Physics and am kinda used to this kind of stuff. Also, doing this is almost as fun for me as playing PokeMMO, so I'll take that as a compliment. :^)

Edited by Schwubbeldiwubb

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Just one quick nitpick on the thread

2.2.2. OU Defenders - Walls in their "off-defense"

For this section, you gave all the pokemon 252 hp and 0 defense, but this is a bit inaccurate, at least in actual competitive play. EV's only boost stats fairly consistently, regardless of the base stat. So 252 hp evs on chansey changes chansey's hp from 325 to 357, slightly less than a 10% boost, while 252 defense evs on chansey changes chansey's defense from 27 to 62 (using a bold nature), a whole 130% boost in defense, which somewhat changes chansey's bulk on the physical side.

From this

252 Atk Choice Band Heracross Low Kick (60 BP) vs. 252 HP / 0+ Def Chansey: 662-782 (185.4 - 219%) -- guaranteed OHKO


252 Atk Choice Band Heracross Low Kick (60 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Chansey: 288-342 (80.6 - 95.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery


252 Atk Choice Band Heracross Low Kick (60 BP) vs. 4 HP / 252+ Def Chansey: 288-342 (88.3 - 104.9%) -- 31.3% chance to OHKO


I do like the overall concept of the thread, but there are some intricacies in certain aspects of pokemon that you can't just apply some blanket rule to all pokemon, when there are unique cases. 

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Thanks for mentioning that. Absolutely makes sense, Chansey will be corrected in the guide. :D (the chart will get updated later)


I wondered myself and that's part of the reason why atm I'm trying to work in the main move sets and EV spreads, gathered from Gbush's guide and Smogon (in which unfortunately some builds don't make sense for PokeMMO because of the new gen physical/special spread). As I said, the current chart and results are to be taken with a grain of salt, but it will get a lot better approximated soontm. You'll still need salt for that, but not as much... :^)

When I'm done with that, then there are still various builds, items, actual effect of speed stats in a battle, status attacks, healing and "switching pressure", that lack in the statistical consideration. I'd need waaay more detailed play rate statistics (distribution of different builds of Pkmn) and observations of countless battles over time, e.g. for effective damage calculation of moves like Will-O-Wisp and Toxic or Dragon Dance... I don't think I'll be doing this much. xD


But when I'm done with WIP, the numbers should give you quite detailed "stationary" insights in respect to several specific averages.


Edited by Schwubbeldiwubb

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