Building a championship caliber team in Pokemon can be an incredibly challenging task. With nearly 700 different monsters to choose from, creating the ultimate stable is far from an easy feat, and that's why it's so nice to have been able to get a few tips from a real life Poke-pro. Current Pokemon World Champion Ray Rizzo has given us five tips on how wannabe Pokemon Masters can go about building the greatest group of pocket monsters possible.
Anyone looking to get into the tournament scene, or just desiring a little help overcoming the Elite Four, will find some serious salvation within Rizzo's tips. Without any further delay, here are five tips for building the best team in any recent version of Pokemon — straight from the two-time championship-winning mind of Ray Rizzo.
1. Choose Pokemon that Fit in with your Team's Strategy
Choose Pokemon That Fit into Your Team's Strategy
For example, say your team’s strategy is to utilize the move Trick Room, which makes slower PokÃ©mon move first and faster PokÃ©mon move last. First, you’ll want to choose a couple PokÃ©mon that can learn the move Trick Room. You’ll then want to choose slower PokÃ©mon with either high Attack or high Special Attack to fill out the rest of your team. Using a fast PokÃ©mon like Jolteon or Aerodactyl is counterintuitive to a Trick Room strategy since they will be the PokÃ©mon attacking last when Trick Room is in effect. Whether your team’s strategy is Trick Room, Rain, Dance, Sunny Day, or one of the many other possible strategies, make sure your chosen PokÃ©mon fit within your team’s strategy.
2. Choose Pokemon Who Don't Share Common Weaknesses
Choose Pokemon Who Don't Share Common Weaknesses
Even though PokÃ©mon like Zapdos, Garchomp, and Latios are all really strong PokÃ©mon, if you create a team with all of them you will have three PokÃ©mon that all share an Ice-type weakness. Even if your other three PokÃ©mon are strong against Ice-types, it’s too risky to use multiple PokÃ©mon with the same weakness. I recommend having no more than two PokÃ©mon on the same team that share a common weakness.
3. Make Good Use of Your Four Moves
Make Good Use of Your Four Moves
Each PokÃ©mon only gets to use four moves in Battle, so you need to make good use of them. I recommend not using two Attacks of the same type, for example, you wouldn’t want to use both Fire Blast and Flamethrower. Unlike when you’re playing through the game, when you’re Battling you don’t need to have PokÃ©mon that know all of the Hidden Machines or HM’s, so using moves like Strength, Cut, or Rock Climb is a wasted move in my opinion.
Also, moves that are the same type as the PokÃ©mon using it get a power up, so always try to use a move that’s the same type as the user, even if it doesn’t hit anything super effective like Normal. Try to fit moves on your PokÃ©mon that can hit your opponent’s PokÃ©mon’s weaknesses super effectively. For example, a Water-type makes great use of the move Ice Beam because it can hit Grass-types super effectively.
4. Use Pokemon that are Able to Beat Popularly Used Pokemon and Strategies
Use Pokemon That Are Able to Beat Popularly Used Pokemon and Strategies
The more powerful PokÃ©mon are naturally used in Battle by more players. Make sure your team has a way to defeat these popular PokÃ©mon because you will end up playing against them frequently. Have a way to defeat popularly used strategies, too. For example, it’s always a good idea to have one slow PokÃ©mon that can be used against opposing Trick Room teams, or a PokÃ©mon that resists Water for Battling against Rain Dance teams.
5. Practice with Your Team and Fix Any Weaknesses
Practice With Your Team and Fix Any Weaknesses
PokÃ©mon Black Version and PokÃ©mon White Version introduced a way to battle against trainers from all over the world. Take advantage of this opportunity and battle against a lot of other people to see how well your team performs against various PokÃ©mon and strategies. Just because your team looks good on paper doesn’t mean it’ll perform well in Battle. If your team is losing against the competition take note of which PokÃ©mon aren’t working well and figure out which PokÃ©mon you can replace to fix your team’s weaknesses. It’s very rare for someone to build a really successful team on their first try, so don’t get discouraged if you’re losing a lot at first. Figure out your team’s weaknesses, fix them, and keep Battling!
There you have it. These tips should aid trainers struggling to make a dent in their competition, but it'll take more than simply following Rizzo's top five tips to become a champion. You've got to want to be the very best, like no one ever was. To catch them will be your real test, but to train them is your cause. That's what the Pokemon theme song preaches anyway, and cartoons have never lead anyone wrong before.
The 2012 Pokemon U.S. National Championships are scheduled to begin between June 29th and July 1st in Indianapolis, Indiana. Invitations to the 2012 Pokemon World Championships are on the line so the competition should be fierce, albeit not as fierce as the poo throwing incident that occurred at a recent Pokemon tournament.
Follow me on Twitter @TheRileyLittle.
A big thanks to Ray Rizzo for taking the time to give us these tips.