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A beginners guide to building

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I am fully aware that I am one of the lesser known players and have no accolades to prove that this guide is actually useful. Nonetheless, I wanted to provide a beginners guide to team building, as lately I get more and more question on building. I do not consider myself a better than average builder, however, all recommendations I give are based on the opinions of very good and accomplished builders. Hence, this can be viewed as a post that provides a compressed and structured overview/ summary of several building advices / resources. Further, this can be regarded as a complementary guide to the OU teambuilding compendium.


Team archetypes


Hyper Offense
Hyper offense usually tries to overwhelm the opponent in a pretty reckless manner. It uses chains of set up sweepers to break the opponent, oftentimes with dual screen or hazard support. These teams care very little about defensive synergy, its all about breaking power. They oftentimes carry a lot of priority as well. HO usually doesnt run hazard removal, as defog and rapid spin tend to lose all the momentum. Instead it relies on taunt users and pressure to keep hazards of the field. Apart from double switches, pokemon will rarely switch out.


Necessary roles: suicide lead, set up sweeper, priority, stallbreaker, wallbreaker


Bulky Offense
Bulky Offense makes use of sturdy, but hard hitting pokemon. I, comparison to hyper offense, such teams are slower but can take one or two hits instead. In comparison to Stall, Bulky offense seldomly uses pokemon that provide no offensive pressure at all, as it is still a very momentum based playstyle. Together with Balance, bulky offense probably offers the highest variety in terms of team building. 


Necessary roles: hazard setter, hazard removal, wallbreaker, stallbreaker


As the name states, this playstyle can be either played aggressive or defensive based on the matchup. It includes ways to beat stall, as well as the defensive utility to outlive Offense. Hazard control is very important for these teams, as they will switch a lot. A good defensive core is very important for balanced teams, as they have to compress as many roles as possible. 


Necessary roles: hazard setter, hazard removal, wallbreaker, stallbreaker, physical wall, special wall/ mixed wall


Stall / Heavy stall
Very defensive and reactive playstyle. Stall relies heavily on status to win the game, but there are also versions that try to run the opponent out of PP. Most stall teams carry at least one additional win condition besides status or PP stalling to beat opposing stall. Other than balanced teams, that have to compress as many roles as possible, stall teams often have room for additional roles such as clerics, wish passer, set up prevention, several hazard removers or setters. A good stall team should have at least two answers to the top 20 offensive threads in the usage statistics.


Necessary roles: hazard setter, hazard removal, status inducer, physical wall, mixed wall, special wall, anti set up

General building


The following holds for all teams, except Hyper Offense. Try to fit at least

- 2x Water resists

- 2x fighting resists

- 1-2 dragon resists

- 2x electric resists or 1 immunity

- 2x ground resists or immunities

- 1x dark resist


on your team, regardless of it being offensive or defensive. If you are building offense, make sure that you either have a scarfer, lots of priority, a twave user or a weather abuser. Also, make sure that your offensive core is not walled by a single pokemon. 


Example of what NOT to do: Offensive core of hippo + exca + volcarona + breloom all walled by salamence.


If you are building stall make sure that your pokemon are not just resistances on paper but can actually switch into the attacks. Additionally, you should try to cover AT LEAST the top 20 threads in the usage statistics and as many mons as possible in the wallbreaker category. 


Example of what NOT to do: Count Starmie as a water resist on stall teams. Starmie cannot switch into any rain boosted attacks from kabutops, azumarill or kingdra. Thus, it is no reliable switch in.


Make sure your defogger synergizes well with your stealth rock weak pokemon. 


Example 1, pretty frail but could work with support: gliscor + volcarona both weak to pelipper, kingdra, milotic, tentacruel, kabutops, mantine.

Example 2, you probably shouldnt do this: Mandibuzz + cloyster both weak to electric attackers such as magnezone. 


If you are testing an innovation or a gimmick set, make sure that it actually effects pokemon relevant in OU. Further, your innovation should be useful outside of its niche, in case you do not run into the pokemon you want to surprise.


Example of what NOT to do: Flamethrower gyarados to hit ferrothorn. Even modest full spatk only does 50-59% and is completely useless otherwise. Maybe a less ridiculous example: Payback on Conkeldurr. Initially used to hit reuniculus on the switch, facade is able to 2 hit ko as well, and is far more useful in other scenarios.

List of resistances


Water resists:


Fighting resists:


Dragon resists:


Electric resists:


Ground resists:

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Dark resists:


Good Cores




Pelipper + Kingdra + Kabutops / Azumarill / Swampert

Abuses rain to boost kingdra and kabutops speed. suffers against water resists and pokemon with standalone staying power such as milotic or porygon2. Generally speaking, rain teams follow this structure: 

1. Pelipper

2. Ferrothorn

3. rain abuser

4. rain abuser

5. Electric immunity

6. Dragon type or second Dragon resist or Dedicated lead.


Although most rain teams look very similar, occasionally pokemon like Hurricane Volcarona can find their way onto rain.



Tyranitar / Hippowdon + Excadrill

Abuses sand to boost excadrills speed. Suffers against most ground immunities such as skarmory, gliscor or occasionally salamence. Offensive sand builds like this are heavily pressured by Fighting types. Hence, Reuniculus and Cofagrigus are often seen as complements.


Excadrill + Magnezone

This core gets a special mention under sand. Excadrill is hard walled by skarmory, which is easily trapped and removed by magnezone.


Dark + Fighting + Pychic

Tyranitar + Reuniculus + Conkeldurr

Hydreigon + Starmie + Breloom


Many possible variations of this core can work, since it is very self sufficient. The principle behind is the almost perfect threeway synergy between the types. Fighting pokemon tend to struggle with psychic mons, which can be pursuit trapped or at least pressured by dark types. Dark types tend to struggle against fighting types, a weakness which is handled by psychic types. And psychic types tend to struggle against dark types, which are dealt with using fighting types. Many teams utilize this core without intentionally building for it. This is probably attributable to the insane amount of fighting coverage in the current metagame, as well as the sheer power level of pokemon like hydreigon, tyranitar, conkeldurr and reuniculus.


Gyarados + Jolteon / Electivire

Gyarados is 4x weak to electric and has a hard time breaking bulky water types. Jolteon and Electivire both can safely switch into electric attacks and can easily break the aforementioned water types. While Electivire is generally speaking regarded as very weak due to its lack luster speed, it can prove a strong mixed attacker if gyarados succesfully lures in an electric attack.



Skarmory + Blissey / Chansey

A very old and reliable core. Both pokemon have access to recovery and immense bulk. They also complement each other almost perfectly defensively speaking. A newer version, that is probably less self-sufficient but potentially more effective on dedicated teams is

Cofagrigus + Blissey / Chansey or Cofagrigus + Porygon2


Water + Fire + Grass

Not very useful in OU, since good fire and grass types are rare. However, this is a solid core for the lower tiers, especially NU.


Salamence + Ferrothorn

Again a very self sufficient core ( if salamence is bold and fullt invested in defense). Ferro has access to pseudo recovery with leech seed, and salamence to roost, which can negate its rock weakness and half its ice weakness if salamence outspeeds its opponent. The two are also able to completely control entry hazards between each other. Ferrothorn struggles against fire and fighting types, both of which are walled brilliantly by salamence. In return, Ferrothorn can switch into the Dragon and Ice attacks aimed at Salamence. In general, you want to be able to cover fighting + Ice as well as fighting + dark attacks. Salamence struggles vs Ice, in so far this core is not indestructible. Yet, it is strong and self- sufficient enough to include it as a sturdy defensive core.

Additional cores can ofc be posted below, in case a proper explanation is included, they will be included in the thread.


Sample Teams

I claim that the teams presented are either so standard that nobody remembers who actually built them or my own creation. 


Edited by jfk

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good work Im sure it will be useful for those who struggle at teambuilding.

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I'm interested in the dark + fighting + psycho + ferro + sala team.


How should I decide which to lead?


Do u need 2 defog or will whirlwind/roar be better?


Is 0 speed brave conkeldurr better for this team since there's trick room?


And thanks for this guide, really helps a lot for people just starting PvP.

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