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How to become a better pokemon trainer

Updated on July 19, 2015

How do I get better at pokemon?

There are many things that can help you improve in pokemon, practicing your breeding and battling skills consistently is probably the most important part. However, in this hub I am going to be going a little more in depth with specifics that can really help you step up your game once you have them down.

Knowing when to sack/switch

garchomp and flareon koed
garchomp and flareon koed

This is one of the most important parts of the metagame but is very easily overlooked by most people. No one likes to lose a Pokemon in battle but sometimes it is just the best possible option. I know people who all too often will save that scizor with 20% hp and send out a Pokemon who just can't seal the deal. As a good rule of thumb, you want to switch in a Pokemon that can take a hit, take out the Pokemon you switched it into, and still not be in awful condition for the next Pokemon that comes out.

If you are only 50/50 on your Pokemon's ability to take out the current threat then it is probably best to just sack the one you are currently using and do as much damage as possible before going down to soften the enemy up for your next Pokemon. Their are a couple exceptions, saving a pokemon with 1hp may be smart if it has a move like endeavor or if it has prankster and a couple moves that can bail it out, however saving a Pokemon just for the sake of making sure it doesn't get koed then and there isn't always the best option. Just be mindful of this and don't be afraid to switch or sack when you feel the situation calls for it.

Be unique

A unique gold sudowoodo from the pokemon anime
A unique gold sudowoodo from the pokemon anime

This is another common problem with most people, even people who have a lot of experience with Pokemon. Copy and pasting will get you beat pretty easily. Most of my online wins come from knowing exactly what a Pokemon will be doing once it is out. Make up your own sets. Look at every aspect of a Pokemon and see what works well. A sturdy Pokemon for example works well with flail and endeavor. When you follow a set everyone is using, you take all the prediction work out of the game, making it really easy on your opponent, bringing me to my next point.


Who's that pokemon?
Who's that pokemon?

Prediction is such an integral part of online play, but it is also one of the hardest to master. If you are facing an opponents gastrodon and you have a venusaur what do you do? Use a grass type move, or use a different move predicting a switch? Their are too ways people mess up predicting, they predict too much or not enough. Many people in the above situation will use a grass move without thought which probably isn't the best option. Others will think of using another move, but wait, what if the other trainer is predicting the prediction! While nothing is set in stone in Pokemon, you most likely just want to plan for the most likely outcome. If that gastrodon doesn't switch, it can't hurt your venusaur anyway, so using another move is your safest bet.

Keeping your guessing simple is usually the best option. With everything in pokemon, sometimes you need to mix it up and go with your gut, but thinking about what to do in common situations ahead of time will help when the situation actually arises.

Team building

Last but not least, team building. Team building is probably the most crucial part of your Pokemon success. First and foremost, I will always stick by the rhetoric of "use the pokemon you enjoy". That being said try not to have too many pokemon who have the same weaknesses and if that is unavoidable for whatever reason, try to make sure you have a hard counter to that weakness in your team.

For example, my team has 3 members weak to fire. To remedy that I have a Crawdaunt with strong sweeping potential to switch in on those fire attacks. For Crawdaunt I have Gastrodon as a back up to take those electric for hits. If they switch in a grass type, half of my team resists grass so no big deal. Coverage doesn't need to be 100% perfect, but it helps to know what pokemon will be your go to in certain situations. Preparation will help a ton, but practice will make you infinitely better. So go out there and sweep some teams online and have fun doing it!

What Pokemon are you tired of seeing online?

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