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Team Foundations

Catching all 150 Pokémon is something that a lot of trainers can be proud of. After all, you’ve “caught ‘em all.” But for other trainers, like myself, having a complete Pokédex isn’t something I’m proud of. However, having a team that will stomp all over my opponents and leave them feeling sour is something I can be proud of. And it’s something that we can all be proud of. Sure, catching them all is great, but it’s the battle aspect of Pokémon that sorts out the winners and the losers. Showing off your toughest Pokémon against your friends and beating them with it is always very satisfying.

Over the past two years or so, people have been building teams of all sorts. People have been fighting each other via link cable and/or N64, striving for victory. In the beginning Pokémon like Charizard, Blastoise and Venusaur were popping up all over the place. Although, statistically, they are not that good, people new to the game have always seen them as definite choices for their teams. Moltres, Zapdos and Articuno being another 3 popular Pokémon for beginners.

The Summer Tours have always been popular. Every year, thousands of budding Pokémon trainers come to these events to show everybody how good they are. Anyway, onto the main point of this article; team foundations.

Nowadays, when people build teams, they basically throw 6 Pokémon of their choice together with moves chosen individually for that Pokémon. Well, here’s the point I’m making: Why do people do this? Teams are supposed to be 6 Pokémon working together to defeat the opponent. Well then why do people just throw 6 Pokémon together? Here is a basic example of this:

Jolteon - Thunder Wave/Thunderbolt/Reflect/Focus Energy

Slowbro - Thunder Wave/Surf/Amnesia/Rest

Exeggutor - Sleep Powder/Substitute/Solar Beam/Leech Seed

Snorlax - Double Team/Rest/Double Edge/Amnesia

Mew - Sword’s Dance/Swift/Earthquake/Softboiled

Mewtwo - Amnesia/Psychic/Substitute/Recover

Nobody would disagree that they are 6 of the absolute best Pokémon around. The movesets chosen for the Pokémon are all very good. But how does this team work together? Is there any teamwork whatsoever? Does the Mewtwo help the Mew in anyway? Does the Snorlax help the Mew in anyway? Do Slowbro and Jolteon work together in anyway? Does Snorlax help Exeggutor survive at all? No, no, no and no. No teamwork whatsoever. 6 of the best knocked together in one team. I’m sure this team would work well with some trainers, but not as well as others.

The point I’m trying to make, which I’m sure seems so incredibly, obvious right now, is that teams shouldn’t just be thrown together like that. They should be 6 Pokémon that work together, each of which contributing to the team in their own way. So here is an example of what I mean:

  • Electrode - Thunder Wave/Screech/Explosion/Flash
  • Starmie - Thunder Wave/Ice Beam/Psychic/Recover
  • Chansey - Reflect/Minimize/Rest/Seismic Toss
  • Tauros - Earthquake/Body Slam/Fissure/Horn Drill
  • Exeggutor - Psychic/Leech Seed/Double Edge/Substitute
  • Dragonite - Body Slam/Blizzard/Thunderbolt/Thunder Wave

    Let me explain. This team follows the basic structure below:

  • Status Changer
  • Status Changer
  • Staller
  • Offensive Pokémon
  • Offensive Pokémon
  • Offensive Pokémon

    Each Pokémon has a function in the team. Electrode and Starmie act as status changers. Starmie is an excellent platform for both paralysis and freeze. Electrode is your basic “support” Electrode. Used mainly for Mewtwos, Electrode has the speed advantage to get a Thunder Wave in before a Mewtwo subs. Please note than paralysis cannot get through Substitutes on Pokémon Stadium, and GREP, a very common Mewtwo, uses the move Substitute. The Electrode would then Screech the Mewtwo, and then Flash a couple times. Next he would Explode, destroying either the Mewtwo, or its sub depending on whether it is a GREP Mewtwo or not. Chansey acts as a staller. Chansey can slow down the opponent if they’re on a killing spree. Chansey can waste a bit of PP, and slowly destroy the opponent. Electrode can act as support paralysis for Chansey, who often needs the Speed advantage. Exeggutor, Dragonite and Tauros act as Offensive Pokémon or “Cleaners.” Once the other three have wasted PP, and altered the opponent’s status and stats, these 3 come in and clean house. Electrode can also act as support paralysis for Exeggutor who also needs the speed advantage at times.

    I think you see the point. The second team obviously uses strategy and teamwork a lot more than the original.

    I have to admit. Not that long ago, I used to make teams like the first one. Throwing together 6 of my best to make a team. But I have learned not to. I have learned to create teams that are truly teams. Using some of the information from this guide, I’m sure you can too.


    Look out for part 2, which goes over some of the other tactics and strategies you can use when building a team.

    I’d like to thank Marcus Majarra (serylau@microtec.net) for all the help he’s given me with this guide. Thanks.


    E-Mail - alpengeist77@yahoo.com

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