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Keys to Winning Pokémon Battles

Updated on May 15, 2013

All trainers lose sometimes, no matter how skilled they are, but there are a few things to pay attention to that can sometimes be easily overlooked when battling. These things often decide who wins and who walks away with a loss that could have been an easy win if more attention was paid to certain aspects of the battle. This hub will help you stay on top of your pokémon battles and show people you are a top tier trainer

Know Your Type Match-ups

It seems pretty rookie and almost any pokémon novice knows their type match-ups. But some aren't so black and white. Sure the basic combinations seem pretty straightforward but there are combinations and abilities that make things a little different than what they seem. I don't think anyone can honestly say they had any idea what to do with ludicolo when they first encountered it or for a time after. Water/grass type isn't the easiest combination to figure out. It can be shocking how many battles are lost due to inadequate typing knowledge. That isn't meant to be an insult, i'm no pokémon elitist and I too have been thrown for a loop by typing complications. It isn't as easy of a concept as some may think. Many people thought, and still think that psychic moves are super effective against ghost types. They aren't. But the gengar line are encountered more commonly than most ghost types and they do receive super effective damage from psychic moves but that is due to their poison secondary type. Misconceptions like this happen a lot in pokémon and can be cause some confusion so knowing your stuff never hurts.

Know the Common Enemies

There are a fair few pokémon that pop up quite frequently on many teams. Just be sure you are prepared for these common powerhouses. I usually dedicate a move slot of a couple of my pokémon to have a move that will take care of some otherwise tough opponents very quickly. Don't get terribly obsessive over taking these pokémon out or you may find yourself falling victim to less common pokémon. There will always be a pokémon that can beat yours but it stings knowing you got beat by something you should have saw coming so just be ready

Know Common Roles

There are many different roles played by pokémon. There is the Special wall, Physical wall, All purpose wall, Physical sweeper, Support, Toxishufflers, the list goes on and on.The important thing is to be prepared for these roles. The physical sweeper is by far the most common role in the game and you will see a ton of these. It is great if you know all your pokémon and I myself happen to be fairly competent in that category. But that's with about 13 years of pokémon experience. If you are new to pokémon or just never focused on it that much then don't sweat it. Try creating a few rules of thumb to help yourself stay on top of the game. For example, physical sweepers are almost always susceptable to special attacks and are also usually only a handful of typings. There are always exceptions to these rules but they help if you don't have a compiled database of pokémon in your head and the rest will come with experience.

Be Prepared for Common/important Situations

There are many situations that occur on a normal basis. You have one pokémon left, the enemy has barely any hp but will one shot your pokémon. Solution? Priority move. Your facing a wall that keeps healing. Solution? Toxic. Your opponent has lifted its stats to ridiculous heights. Solution? Haze. This usually comes through experience. Most people don't share the same problems because it usually relies on your team setup and how you decide to try to cover your weaknesses. There is always a chance you will lose at some point but if you lose and you see a mistake was made, then do your best to make sure that mistake isn't made again. I faced this situation with a double team milotic earlier. I knew a bulky water would be a problem but I sadly didn't have enough bp to get toxic on my walrein. But even if a situation isn't as common it can't hurt to be prepared for it if you think it could end up costing you a win. I don't encounter shedinja often but I make sure I am always prepared for him so I don't get walled by a pokémon I can't faint


Know Your Pokémon

Sometimes it can be hard deciding which pokémon to throw into battle. You have to know if your pokémon is gonna be able to take a hit on a switch and come back with a powerful attack. Or if it is worth it to throw your pokémon out so it can activate its intimidate ability. This one once again seems basic but a lot of people will make decisions soley on typing but that isn't always the only consideration. For example I will often throw my scyther in to a rock pokémon because it sports endure and reversal which means my enemy, despite having a huge type advantage over my scyther, will often not only lose to it but also make my scyther an incredible sweeping machine. So know your pokémon in and out and learn what situations they can be successful in and which they can't and you will find yourself playing at peak form.

Know How to Switch

For a long time I thought switching was a waste. It gives the enemy a chance to get a free hit off on your pokémon right? Well not exactly. The key is to know when to switch. If I have my scyther in versus an ice type then there is a good chance an ic type move is coming my way. Lets momentaily ignore the fact that my scyther has endure and reversal. That ice attack has the potential to be a OHKO. But if i switch my walrein in to take that hit it will only do 1/8 damage instead of 2x. It is often beneficial to make switches but you have to know when to do it. If your pokémon only has 1hp left and won't be able to get off another attack then it's often best to cut your losses and take the KO. But if your pokémon still has some battling potential left and can be switched without doing substantial damage to your other pokémon then by all means make the switch. This is a huge concept that many people overlook because they think they are giving the enemy a free shot when in fact its the opposite

Know Your Items

You don't have to know evey item in the game to be good at pokémon. But you do have to know that your pokémon should ALWAYS have an item. A small detail can really throw you for a loop in pokémon and the item is often one of the most neglected things in the game. You would be surprised how many games can be determined by a sitrus berry. Try incorporating your item with your pokemons role. If you have a special sweeper who will get OHKOed if it gets hit then the sitrus berry isn't gonna help. But a focus sash will help it overcome its weakness and let it get at least one more hit off which could possibly decide the battle. So make sure your pokémon has an item that can help it even if it's as simple as a berry


Know ALL Pokémon

This is the tricky one that is more often then not simply learned through experience. With all the pokémon there are today it is a daunting task trying to know what all of them can do. But once you gain that experience it is invaluable and that knowledge is the single most important tool in your arsenal. To play at your highest possible level it helps greatly to know that that salamence has 252 attack evs or that that metagross is gonna be packing bullet punch. It takes time but being a pokémon professor is the key to being a pokémon master (plus they are all named after trees! Who doesn't wanna named after a tree!?)


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