It’s Super Effective! How to Enter the World of Competitive Pokemon

With the release of Pokémon X and Y — already six months ago — fans saw yet another surge of love from the world. People are talking about Pokémon more than ever as the games have found a refreshed look with glorious character models and eye-popping battle effects using the 3DS’ stereoscopic 3D technology. Of course, the question remains: when the credits roll, what do you do with your beloved creatures? Do you attempt the daunting task of catching ’em all? With a staggering 719 Pokémon to obtain, this has become an exhausting endeavor, with rewards only for the most dedicated and hardcore of Pokémon fans. Instead, I suggest a much more fun project: to take competitive and strategic Pokémon for a spin!

As someone who has been participating in the competitive scene locally since Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver (Generation IV of the series), I highly recommend this generation of Pokémon games as an excellent stepping-off point for anyone who has ever been curious about getting involved in the scene. GameFreak has started really noticing the increasing attention this area of the Pokémon metagame has been receiving, and addressing it correctly. New mechanics have been implemented to assure less grinding is needed to create competitive-level Pokémon. TMs being multiuse allows for more optimal movesets for Pokémon without struggle. Truly a lot of control has been placed in the hands on the trainers before they even set up on the battlefield, and this is great. What may have once taken me a long time, even days, I can now complete in an hour.

Now, there are several communities online who can help you get familiar with these mechanics. Often, they will give you all of the how-tos, but they don’t really explain why. This guide strives to show you the ropes in order to create your very first cohesive Pokémon team ready for the competitive scene. We will look at the various elements of a good Pokémon team and how to achieve them, and then look at individual Pokémon to learn how to unlock their potentials. Once we have built a team, we will learn solid approaches to using the team in an actual battle!

It is important to note that there are ultimately no right or wrong answers when it comes to building Pokémon teams. Half of the fun of Pokémon battling stems from the amount of unpredictability a match can bring. You have to be ready to think on your feet and learn how to come up against many different and interesting strategies. And through that, you will find that you will be having a lot of fun. I have been in the competitive scene for four years and am still always finding new things and learning new approaches to a battle. Are you ready to be the very best?

In the next installment, we will learn the basics of team building.

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