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    The Basics of Pokemon Mechanics

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    DarkEnvy
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    The Basics of Pokemon Mechanics

    Post by DarkEnvy on Thu Jun 19, 2014 4:15 pm

    So, you want to learn competitive Pokemon eh? Good for you! It's one of the strongest most diverse competitive scenes in all of gaming. Varying in complexity and play-styles, there isn't much you can't do in the competitive world of Pokemon. You may want to have your PO Team Builder open so you can experiment with the simulator and see what each of the things do. Let's start with the basics.

    As of Generation VI, there are over 700 different Pokemon you can use! Some have different forms, others require certain items, and all of them are awesome.

    Pokemon are organized into tiers, tiers are there as mostly an organization tool. Pokemon that are too strong are banished from the lower tiers. If this wasn't the case, everyone would be using Mewtwo and Arceus in UU and so forth. The higher in tier you go, the more Pokemon can be used. While it may be harder to use some Pokemon in the upper tiers, they definitely are usable and no-one should tell you otherwise. Use your favorites! Just make sure you have a well thought out strategy for said favorites.

    The tiers are as follows:

    Ubers
    OU (Overused)
    UU (Underused)
    LU (Lesser Used)
    NU (Never Used)

    There are various other tiers with specific rules, but we'll go other those another time.

    Pokemon that are too strong for OU and the other tiers are relegated to Ubers. This is where you'll find most of your favorite legendary Pokemon, such as Mewtwo, Arceus, Xerneas and others. Pokemon in the lower tiers can be used in the upper tiers as well, thereby making the higher you go in tier, the more Pokemon you can use. Along with this, some abilities are banned from certain tiers.

    Now for the part that you're all wondering about. Stats and moves. There are six stats in competitive pokemon.

    HP (Hit Points), Atk (Attack), Def (Defense), SpAtk (Special Attack), SpD (Special Defense) and Spe (Speed).

    Pokemon usually excel in one or multiple stats, and are bad in others. Some Pokemon (such as Celebi and Mew) excel in all stats equally.

    To help adjust these stats, you have what are called EVs. EV is short for Effort Value. The more EVs you put into a particular stat, the stronger that stat will be. You have 508 EVs to distribute throughout all the stats, you can only put 252 EVs into one particular stat. So you can fully maximize the EVs of two different stats, with one 4 point ev left over to increase a third stat by one point. Some EV spreads are easy to figure out, 252 in two stats with 4 in another stat. Some are harder to figure out, with various points being spread across the board.

    There are also IVs, but for the most part we can ignore those. IVs are the Individual Value of a Pokemon, and determine only a few things, such as what type attack the move Hidden Power uses, or how powerful the move Gyro Ball is.

    To further boost stats, there are what we call Natures. A nature increases a said stat by a certain amount, and reduces another stat. For example, lets say we have a Garchomp. Garchomp is a physical attacker, so we're going to give him an Adamant nature. Adamant increases his attack even higher, while reducing his special attack. Every stat has a combination achievable by giving the Pokemon a nature. Different sets rely on different natures.

    Now for the fun part. Attacking. There are three types of moves, Physical, Special and Non-Damaging. Physical moves use the Attack stat and target the Defense stat (unless a move says otherwise). Special moves use the Special Attack stat and target the Special Defense stat (unless a move says otherwise). Non-damaging moves can either raise or lower stats, inflict status effects (such as Poison, Burn, Paralyze, Confusion or Sleep) or various other effects. Certain Pokemon can only learn certain moves. For example, Nincada can learn Leech Life, but Pikachu can't.

    Along with this, Pokemon can get STAB on their moves. STAB stands for Same Type Attack Bonus. Basically, if a Pokemon uses a move that is the same type as itself, it does extra damage. For example, if Machamp, a fighting type Pokemon used Drain Punch, a fighting type move, it would get STAB from it. If Machamp used Ice Punch, an Ice move, it wouldn't get STAB from it. STAB is usually a great way to net that frustrating and risky KO that you're looking for.

    Along with this, all Pokemon have abilities that either aid or hinder it. A great example of an ability is Mightyena's "Moxie" ability, which increases Mightyena's attack stat in battle by one (the same thing as adding a ton of EV points) whenever it makes an enemy Pokemon faint. This quickly adds up, making Mightyena a dangerous sweeper. Abilities can also hinder a Pokemon, such as Archeops's "Defeatist" ability, which halves both its Attack and Special Attacking stats if it goes below 50% HP. Most abilities have some use in Competitive play, only a few don't.

    Items are another big part of competitive play, as they have additional effects as well. For example, Life Orb boosts the users power exponentially at the cost of 10% HP per turn. Leftovers heals a percentage of the users HP per turn. Pokemon can hold only one item at a time, some stay on your Pokemon indefinitely, others go away after one use.

    A new part introduced in the recent generation of Pokemon is Mega Evolution. You can only have one mega evolution on your team, and you have to give the corresponding mega stone to whatever Pokemon you want to Mega Evolve. Not all Pokemon can Mega Evolve, so make sure you look up a list of Megavolvable Pokemon. Mega Evolution basically takes a Pokemon and gives it a lot of extra stats, usually an extra 100 or similar base stat points spread overall throughout their stats. For example, when Gardevoir Mega Evolves, it gains a lot of Special Attack, Special Defense and Speed. To top this off, Mega Evolutions can also have their typing changed. Mega Ampharos changes from Electric type to Electric / Dragon type. You can only Mega Evolve once per battle, and once your Pokemon is megavolved, it stays that way for the rest of the battle.

    Well those are the basics, if you have any questions or need any help. Don't be afraid to ask! If I'm missing anything in this basic tutorial, please mention that as well. Thank you so much and I hope you're able to get into the competitive Pokemon scene!


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