VGC Tips #4: An Introduction to Teambuilding

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Today, I want to talk about how to build a team in VGC. I won't be talking about VGC 2016 in this as  I have multiple articles talking about various VGC Restricted Cores and that type of ruleset doesn't happen often enough. Teambuilding in VGC is very important as if you have a team that can handle many obstacles that come its way will do well if the player can do this. I hope enjoy this and if you have any questions, feel free to ask. Now let's dive into this.

General VGC Rules: These are rules that are a staple to most VGC ruleset besides 2010 and 2016.
  • Doubles Battles (Bring 6, Pick 4) 
  • Pokemon above level 50 are brought down to 50 and Pokemon under 50 stay at their level
  • Species Clause: No 2 Pokemon may have the same Pokedex number
  • Item Clause: No 2 Pokemon may hold the same item
  • Certain Legendaries are banned (i.e. Kyogre, Keldeo, Deoxys, Mew, etc.)
  • Sanctioned events run under a stricter timer than a more causal battle with 45 seconds to pick your moves each turn and 15 minutes for the entire battle
General VGC Info: This is some info that's good to keep in mind
  • Entry Hazards (Stealth Rock, Spikes, Toxic Spikes) aren't common due to the fast nature of VGC
  • Stall Teams aren't as viable to due how fast a VGC match can take
  • Most teams tend to have at least 1 Mega Evolution, maybe 2 depending on the team
  • Setup moves aren't as common as in Single Battles, but are still good in the right scenarios
Resources I use to build my teams
  • NuggetBridge
  • Team Magma Team Builder: Put your team into it and see what weaknesses your team may have based on typing
  • Pokemon Showdown: Build and test teams within seconds
  • Pokemon Showdown Damage Calculator: Build EV Spreads that for my Pokemon to use
Now I want to go into the actual process that really simple to use and easy to master
  1. Step 1: Choose a core/ Pokemon to start off with
For this step, you want to start your team off with a Pokemon or a group of Pokemon to use. Two very common cores are a Fire/Water/Grass core or a Dragon/Fairy/Steel core, which play off each other typing wise and has good defensive switching potential. The core I'll be talking about today is a easy Fire/Water/Grass core that I really like. The Pokemon in this core that we'll use today is Rotom-Wash, Heatran, and Amoonguss because they provide a strong powerful force and can work off of one another nicely, with secondary typings that can handle powerful types in the game like Fairy and Dragon.
The Team so Far:   

     2. Step 2: Patching the Holes

For this step, you want to look at the Pokemon you have so far and ask yourself what they're weak against and how to best handle this. Personally, these 3 Pokemon lack a physical attacker as there commonly special attacker. While this is good as the threat of Intimidate isn't a thing for half the team, it's better to focus on trying to have a physical attacker so uncommon Pokemon like Chansey and Blissey aren't issues. The idea I have is Mega Salamence as although its 4x weak against Ice, Heatran and Rotom-W can reliably switch into it. It also provides Intimidate support and Pokemon with the Defiant/Competitive ability will be scared off by Rotom-W, which threatens the main Defiant user in Bisharp with Will-O-Wisp and the main Competitive user in Milotic with electric type moves.

The Team so Far:    

    3. Step 3: The Domino Effect

I call this step a Domino Effect as like when someone is knocking down dominos and they all fall one after another because they were placed correctly, at this stage of teambuilding, you want to continue off of Step 2 and patch up various issues in the team and work on fixing them to build a solid team. An issue I can see with the team is a lack of speed control with moves like Icy Wind, Thunder Wave, and Trick Room. The perfect Pokemon that I like to help fix the issue and has some amazing bulk is Cresselia as does a great job of having bulk and can offer speed control has it access to all 3 moves I listed above. Now that we have 5 Pokemon, I want to add a final member to the team. I want to add a Trick Room mode to the team and the perfect Pokemon for that job is Tyranitar. I feel that it has the qualities of a great final member to the team with a good defensive typing and has good coverage with Rock and Dark alone, which is good for the majority of the metagame.

The Team so Far:      

Now that you have a team, the next best step is to practice with the team to gain experience on how its played, what's its good against and what it's bad against so you can change it. The resources I recommend using are Pokemon Showdown and Battle Spot Doubles. These 2 battle simulators are great to see how your team fares against various other players. These are some extra ideas to keep in mind when building a team

Extra Ideas to Keep in mind
  • 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.?
By keeping these things in mind, your team can handle things that come its way.

These are some cores you can build off of. There tried and tested and have performed at high levels
Here's a pastebin for the team
Pastebin of the team - Link

I hoped you enjoy this article on VGC Tips. Check out my older articles on the basics of VGC, BO3 play, and team preview. If you have any suggestions on tips in VGC you want me to cover, let me know either on Twitter or in the comments. I'll see you next time. Bye!


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