With Pokemon Ultra Sun and Pokemon Ultra Moon releasing on November 17, countless Pokemon trainers will begin brand new journeys as they seek to become true Pokemon Champions and find out what new challenges await in the latest Pokemon game. The latest dual entrants for the Pokemon franchise will introduce everything from a dramatic Team Rocket rebranding to several brand new Ultra Beasts, all scattered throughout the Alola region waiting to be discovered.

Suffice to say, the path to becoming a Pokemon Champion isn’t an easy one. Game Rant spoke with Bennett Piercy, who won the Seniors Division at the National Pokemon Championships in India, to see what advice the veteran champion could give to those jumping in to Pokemon Ultra Sun and Pokemon Ultra Moon.

Here’s what the Calgary, Alberta native had to say:

Don’t Judge A Pokemon By Its Base Stats

Pokemon Ultra Sun and Moon Base Stats

“Many players assume that Pokemon with high base stats have to be powerful and Pokemon with low base stats have to be weak, but this isn’t always the case. Many Pokemon with high base stat totals, such as Wishiwashi and Kommo-o, haven’t really shined competitively, while lower base stat total Pokemon such as Persian and Pelipper have been stars. There are so many factors that play into the power of a Pokemon that it’s very difficult to assess without actually using them in battle.”

Weaponize Weather & Terrain

Pokemon Ultra Sun and Moon Terrain and Weather

“Weather and terrain are both fun mechanics that can make a huge difference in battles, and there’s many ways to take advantage of them. I always
recommend using Pokémon with abilities that activate terrain or weather immediately once they enter the field, so that you don’t need to spend a turn using a move that manually sets up weather or terrain. There are also a ton of Pokémon with abilities that benefit specifically from weather or terrain, so consider using them as a combo.”

Watch Out For Z-Moves

Pokemon Ultra Sun and Moon Z-Moves

“With Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon’s addition of Z-moves, a whole new kind of move became prominent in competitive play. Because you can’t know which Pokemon are holding Z-crystals before they launch an ultra-powerful attack, it’s easy for these moved to catch players by surprise.”

Try Out Some Real PVP

Pokemon Ultra Sun and Moon Competition

“If you’ve enjoyed playing Pokemon games and want to up your game, the next step is to get into competitive Pokemon. Build a team of strong Pokemon with types that compliment each other and then breed for IVs and train for EVs and you’ll be a more competitive player in no time.”

No Really: You’ve Gotta Catch ‘Em All

Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon Team Balance

“Catching a big variety of Pokemon is always a good idea. You get to see the strengths of more Pokemon firsthand, and taking advantage of that will help
players succeed in-game and in competitive battling. It’s also really fun to catch and battle with any or all of the interesting Pokemon you encounter on your adventure.

For me, there’s no one perfect combination, and it depends on the format you’re playing. That being said, some types tend to have certain strengths relative to others, and not all types are equal. Ice and Rock types tend to be very strong offensively but weak defensively, while Steel types are stronger defensively and weaker offensively. Fire and Water types are relatively stronger offensively and defensively. A good Pokemon team has a mix of different types, and each Pokemon and combination works differently, so try many different Pokemon to see which ones feel right to you.”

Given that Bennett has been a national competitor for some years now, his advice comes with plenty of experience behind it. While the Canadian trainer also mentions that he’s quite excited to see the new UB-Burst Pokemon in action, there’s still plenty of undiscovered surprises to be found in both Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. Bennett’s keen advice doesn’t delve into specific events that will occur in the new Pokemon releases, but his recommendations are sound advice to follow throughout every Pokemon title.

The Pokemon franchise may be changing gears and shifting focus to its much-anticipated major release for the the Nintendo Switch, so Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon may be the last swan song as far as major Pokemon releases on the Nintendo 3DS go.

That being said, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime did confirm that Nintendo would be giving plenty of support to the Nintendo 3DS throughout 2018, so fans should keep a watch out for future Nintendo Directs regarding Nintendo’s smaller portable device.

Pokemon Ultra Sun and Uokemon Ultra Moon will release on November 17, 2017, for the Nintendo 3DS.