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The Dojo: A Guide To Team Building

Hello everyone and welcome to the third lesson, this time I will be going over the basics of team building.

You can catch up on previous iterations of The Dojo right here.

To me the most important thing you need in competitive battling is a team that works well together. It really doesn't do you any favours having a team made up of 6 randomly chosen Pokemon.


I will be going by Smogon tiers for this series, you can take a look at Smogon tiers for X and Y here.

Most Pokemon are able to fill a certain role in each team, while others may have multiple uses. The roles that your team can be comprised of are:

The Lead/Staller

They are the Pokemon that you should send out first. Usually they are the ones to set up entry hazards such as Stealth Rock and Toxic Spikes. Entry Hazards can be your best friends.

That's not all leads can do. Leads can put something to sleep, use Taunt to disable the opponent's lead, setting up a weather effect, to functioning as an anti-lead capable of defeating many other leads. Leads are so important because they set the pace for the rest of the game.


Stallers aim to wear down a Pokemons health with residual damage, by way of setting up status affect or weather like a sandstorm. They can also be used to absorb status effect, such as Ferrothorn, as it is immune to Toxic.

Depending on what sort of theme your team is going for, you will have a wide range of leads to choose from. My personal favourite is Skarmory, as it has access to Stealth Rocks to cause entry damage, Whirlwind to remove the opponents lead, and Defog, which removes any entry hazards set up by your opponent. Speaking of removing hazards...


The Rapid Spinner/Magic Bouncer

Pokemon that can rapid spin are not always necessary, but can come in handy whenever you don't have a Pokemon with Defog and when you really want to get rid of entry hazards. Just be careful, because due to it being normal type, it has no affect on Ghosts, which means it won't remove hazards.


Magic Bouncers are Pokemon that have access to the ability Magic Bounce, which deflects any entry hazards or status moves back to the opposing Pokemon. Only 4 Pokemon currently have it, so it's not needed at all, unless you want to use one of them.

Pokemon like Blastoise and Cryogonal are solid Rapid Spinners, while Espeon and Xatu are Pokemon with Magic Bounce.


The Sweeper

It's all in the name. Sweepers are Pokemon that can...sweep up the opponent! They have access to great movepools that will allow them to cause heavy damage. In my opinion, the best defense is a good offense.


Sweepers can either use their amazing Attack or Special Attacks stats to cause damage or they can use moves such as Swords Dance and Dragon Dance in order to augment their stats to what they need in order to sweep.

Sweepers can either be physical, special or mixed, and whichever one you want to use is entirely up to you. Many of them are considered "glass cannons", where while they have great attacking stats, they have poor defences. A single hit could OHKO many of them.


Lucario is a great example of a Pokemon that can be all three. Salamence can use Dragon Dance or his ability Moxie to mess things up, while Gardevoir makes for a great special sweeper.

The Tank

Tanks are Pokemon designed to take hits that would normally KO any other type of Pokemon. Every team needs one. They need a good HP and defensive stats.


They should have access to moves like Light Screen, Reflect, Recover and Protect. There's not much to say about them, they're designed for one thing and one thing only, to take hits.

The Healer

These are Pokemon that have access to moves like Heal Bell and Aromatherapy. Many of them can also be Walls, so it's worth considering Pokemon like Blissey and Sylveon that have multiple uses.


The Status Inflicter

Status Inflictors have access to moves like Will O Wisp, Toxic and Thunder Wave. In recent times, Sableye has become extremely popular due to it having access to Will O Wisp and Toxic. Disable can also come in handy for when your opponent has a move that can ruin your day.


They can also have access to moves that can give your team advantages. Trick Room is popular if you are using slow Pokemon, as it means they are able to go first.


The Pivot/Switcher

They are Pokemon that have access to moves that allow them to switch out without missing out on a turn. U-Turn allows you to get off some damage before switching out, and Parting Shot allows you to lower a Pokemon's Attack and Special Attack before switching.


Baton Pass is a popular move as it allows the Pokemon that switches in to keep any of the stat changes the previous Pokemon has. For example, Scolipede increases in speed due to it's ability, Speed Boost. If it Baton Passes into a Dragonite, the Dragonite will keep those speed increase.

Absol, Sylveon and Scolipede are all potential Baton Passers.

NOTE: It's not compulsory to use them all, and many Pokemon fall within multiple categories, such as a bulky sweeper.


Now that's not all there is! teams can also be themed. You're very likely to encounter teams based around a weather condition. Even though weather got a nerf this gen, it's still just as popular as ever.

You are likely to encounter these types of teams:

  • Sandstorm
  • Rain
  • Sun
  • Hail
  • Trick Room

They're all pretty self explanatory, but a good guide on the types of weather teams can be found here.


Final Thoughts

Well we're done with the basics! Now I'll be doing articles on single Pokemon, where I'll go over potential move sets and more!


What I should mention is that you don't have to use all of these Pokemon on a single team. There is nothing wrong with using your favourite Pokemon.

I am probably missing out on a few types of Pokemon that can used, so if I ever remember one I will come back to here and add them in.


Quick question! Would anyone be interested in a giveaway that I'll do every time I make a Dojo post? I'd either give away the Pokemon I make the post about. I don't know whether to just giveaway level 1 versions of the Pokes so you can train them up, or to give away a couple of them, fully trained and evolved. What would you prefer?

Oh, and finally. If anyone wants to make me a better header image I'd be much obliged...

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