VGC 2015 TeamBuilding Guide

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I don't know why I didn't think of doing this before, but I'm glad I still want to do it. Building a successful VGC team can be a difficult task, I decided to give my opinion on how to do it while walking you through my process on how I do it. For the sake of this guide, I'll be building a new team and showing you how I do it from scratch. I will also bring this team to a Premier Challenge and show the battle videos I have. I may do a team report on the team, but i'm not exactly sure about doing that. Without further ado, welcome to my VGC 2016 teambuilding guide. Let's get into with Step 1. But before we do that, we should look at the VGC 2016 rules because how can you build a team if you don't know what rules you need to follow. I know a lot of people who read my articles already know the rules, but just in case your new to VGC or not, it's still helpful to know.

VGC Rules (Fall Season. If they change, I will update this guide)
  • Double Battle 
  • Bring 6 Pokemon into the battle, choose 4 Pokemon to actually use
  • All Pokemon at level 50 and above will be scaled down to level 50. All Pokemon below level 50 will stay at the same level
  • Pentagon Rule; All Pokemon must have the blue pentagon (Caught/breed/ received in X, Y, Omega Ruby or Alpha Sapphire)
  • Species Clause: No 2 Pokemon with the same Pokedex number may be on the same team
  • Item Clause: No 2 Pokemon may hold the same item on the same team
  • Certain Legendaries banned (i.e. Kyogre, Keldeo, Deoxys, Mew) 
  • ORAS National Dex (All Pokemon from all regions unless stated above are usable)
General VGC Info
  • Entry Hazards (Stealth Rock, Spikes, Toxic Spikes, etc.) and Stall (Toxic, Rest, etc.) aren't common in VGC
  • Most teams will have 1 or 2 Pokemon capable of Mega Evolution
  • Protect is mostly used on all non-choiced/ Assault Vest holding Pokemon unless it's not needed (ie, Cresselia and Thundurus)
  • Setup moves (Dragon Dance) aren't as common as in singles, but will see some usage
  • Reminder: Sanctioned VGC events operate under a timer in battle (45 seconds to pick your moves, 15 minutes for the entire battle) This is why stall doesn't work as well as in singles
Some Great resources to use

Step 1: Picking a Pokemon to Build Around

This is the first step I use when building my teams. For this team, I'll be using a Pokemon that can rely on speed control like Tailwind, but won't enjoy Trick Room. We'll add a Trick Room answer later. This can be any Pokemon you want to use, but I'll start with Blaziken. Blaziken is a difficult Pokemon to use, but I feel like with the right team, Blaziken will shine. The moves will be Overheat as our main fire move, Superpower for Kangaskhan, and HP Ice for Lando-T and Thundurus. We'll also added Protect so that we can go for it Turn 1 to outspeed Scarfed Lando-T.

The Team so Far: 

Step 2: Giving your First Pokemon a Friend

Now that you've picked a Pokemon you want to use, they need a friend. It's friend will generally be a Pokemon that can support or abuse what that Pokemon has to offer. Whether it be a weather sweeper for your setter, a Trick Room sweeper for your setter, it should be able to support your 1st Pokemon. Because Blaziken is a Pokemon that struggles with bulky water types like Milotic and Jellicent, I want to add a electric type to help with the problem, which is going to be Thundurus. Thundurus offers a STAB electric type move in Thunderbolt that can handle those bulky water types. It also offers Thunder Wave support for speed control and Taunt to stop opposing Thundurus from using Thunder Wave on Blaziken.

The Team so Far: 

Step 3: Completing Your Core with a Great Friend

Now that you have your first 2 Pokemon that are supporting one another, they need another friend. The friend should be a Pokemon that can support them accordingly. Looking at Blaziken and Thundurus, I noticed that I have a problem against Rock Slide and I also have 2 primarily special attackers. Personally for me, I like to have 4 Special Attackers and 2 Physical attackers on my teams. So for the 3rd member, I want to use Landorus-Therian, Landorus-Therian offers Intimidate support for the team, as well as Rock Slide to help with flinches so Blaziken do it's job of getting KO's better,

The Team so Far: 

Step 4: Covering your Bases

This is the most important step in my opinion. Now that you have your core of 3 Pokemon, you want your next 3 Pokemon on the team to patch up the weaknesses that the first 3 have. For this team, after plugging it into the Team Magma TeamBuilder, I noticed that the team has 2 Pokemon weak to water types and only 1 answer to it. So in order to fix it. I decided to add Empoleon. Empoleon has some solid defense stats and as steel type, it gives an answer to Sylveon as a counter and a as a water type, it gives it me a resistance to water type moves. For the moveset, we'll go for Scald, Ice Beam, Flash Cannon, and Aqua Jet. Scald and Flash Cannon will be our main STAB moves and Ice Beam will be our coverage for dragons and the dangerous genies that plague everyone's life. Aqua Jet will combo well with the Defiant ability because we can switch in to a enemy Landorus-Therian and take it down with an +1 Aqua Jet. 
The Team so Far: 

Step 4.1: Repeat Step 4

This is an add-on to Step 4. Now that you have 4 Pokemon on that team, Step 5 is just to repeat the last step of covering your bases or patching holes in your team so far. Since the team still has a slight weakness to Water Pokemon, we're going to add Mega Salamence. Salamence offers another water resistance and while the team get's a 3rd ice weakness, we already have Empoleon and Blaziken, who resist the type. The moveset will be the standard physically offense Salamence of Dragon Dance, Return, Dragon Claw, and Protect. The reasoning behind Dragon Dance will be revealed in Step 4.2, Dragon Claw is the dragon stab that the team can use for opposing Dragons like Hydreigon and Latios, Return is chosen over Double-Edge because this team is kinda frail so holding on to as much HP as possible is a necessity, and Protect becuase Salamence is kinda frail so it's nice to have it. 

The Team so Far: 

Step 4.2: Repeat Step 4 one more time

Like Step 4.1, you'll be repeating Step 4 in order to get our final member. Since the team is running a Dragon Dance M-Salamence, the team is going to need a bulky Follow Me user. The Pokemon that i'm think of and the overall final member to the team is going to be Clefairy. Clefairy was chosen over all the other Follow Me/ Rage Powder users because of it's ability Friend Guard. Friend Guard will be nice since Salamence can D-Dance up and proceed to sweep if possible with proper team support.

The Team so Far: 

Step 5: Test the Team you just made

Now you have built the team, it's time to train that team. Training the team will help make it better so that the team can become very strong and powerful, which could potentially become the team that takes a big event down. Here's my advice on how to train the team
  • Doubles Battle Spot and Pokemon Showdown are great places to train
  • Showdown allows for more games at a faster pace to see what you maybe weak to
  • Battle Spot will have stronger teams. which is great since it can be a good indication of what the current metagame is looking like
  • Edit the team accordingly: If you feel like your weak to a certain match-up/Pokemon, then edit the team to improve it by switching out certain Pokemon, trying out different moves, EV Spreads, or items
  • You can also replace moves if you need to.  An example is I put HP Ice on my Venusaur to improve my Landorus-T/ Salamence matchup, which helped out so much
Helpful things to note

This section will be dedicated to helpful things to note when constructing your teams.

EV Spreads

Some general things to consider when building your EV Spreads
  • Some Pokemon shine the best with a EV Spread that has a mix of offense, defense, and speed (Cresselia, Thundurus, Zapdos, etc.)
  • Others are just fine with 4/252/252 EV Spreads (Gengar, Garchomp, Terrakion, Bisharp, etc.)
  • Nugget Bridge has a plethora of EV Spreads posted by successful players and their mindset behind them
  • Remember that EV Spreads are generally catered to specific teams and how they function
Key Components of a Team
  • Speed Control
    • How fast is my team? Can I afford using faster/slower Pokemon?
    • Do I have enough ways to control Speed
  • Bulk vs. Offense
    • How much "firepower" do I have?
    • Are my Pokemon too frail?  Can my frailer ones make a lasting impact?
    • Are they too bulky with no offensive pressure?
  • Synergy and Team Typing
    • Do I have a good overall typing? Can I switch easily between team members?
    • Am I really weak to any one type/move
    • Do I cover a wide range of weaknesses with my attacks?
  • No Major Weaknesses
    • Does my team have at least 1 check to every Pokemon?
    • Can I win against strategies such as Trick Room, Rain, Tailwind, Dark Void, etc.?
You should be prepared for ...
  • All the Top Pokemon
  • Weather teams
  • Status Conditions
    • Sleep: Spore from Amoonguss/Breloom, Dark Void from Smeargle
    • Paralysis: Thunder Wave users (Thundurus)
    • Burn: Will-O-Wisp users (Rotom-Wash)
    • Freeze: Always having a Lum Berry helps in these situations
  • Speed Control (Tailwind, Icy Wind, Trick Room, etc.)
  • Spread Moves (Hyper Voice, Heat Wave, Rock Slide, Earthquake, etc.)
  • Redirection (Amoonguss, Togekiss, Clefairy, etc.)
  • Prankster (Sableye, Whimiscott, Thundurus, etc.)
  • Hax (Flinch, Misses, Confusion)
Reviewing  the Team

This is some good things to just quickly look over and make sure it's not a big issue
  • Do I have a good split between physical/special attacks?
  • Do I have at least 1 way to beat the common Pokemon? 
  • Do I have at least 1 way to beat the common strategies?
  • Do I have safe switch-ins to the common attacks?
  • Do I have good type coverage within the team?
I hope you enjoyed this teambuilding guide. Remember that teambuilding is a long process and no team is truly perfect. While their are a lot of good teams, teambuilding is a process that takes a long time to get good at and this guide should help you get better at making teams. This was fun to make and I hope you enjoyed it. Expect some more individual Pokemon analysis in the future as well as other content. Bye and I hope you have an amazing day. Peace!


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