Putting together a good team of Pokémon requires more than assembling a line up of all-stars. To steal an analogy from a friend, it would be like putting together a basketball team made up of five Kobe Bryants. No one would ever pass ball to one another. To help you figure out how to do that we're going to explore a few key areas.
- Sweepers You know what they say. The best defense is a killer offense.. While you can't line up a super effective move all the time, keep in mind Pokémon get a same-type attack bonus that can boost attack power by 50 percent. So, for example, a Greninja (water/dark-type) using Water Pulse will do way more damage than if he was using Extrasensory, a psychic move that actually has a higher base power. Even with the addition of Fairies, Dragons are still the best overall STABers in the game. (Closely followed by Ghost and Fire types, of course.)
- Defensive Walls On the opposite end of things, we have the damage sponges: defensive Pokémon who are invaluable for taking hits for the team, building up lightscreen and reflect walls, and striking back at glass cannons that failed to net a one-hit-KO. Your cotton-candy walls also don't even have to take attacks like a living punching bag, they can use moves that negate moves entirely like Protect or the damage-reversing Spiky Shield.
- Ailments We've talked about offensive and defensive Pokemon. However, there are even more elements to consider. Status ailment-inducing moves can do everything from buffing your little 'mons to tripping up your opponents. Is your opponent hitting you with the same move again and again? Block them with disable. Is everyone faster than you? Use Trick Room to turn the battle upside down. Meanwhile, trolling your opponents is also a viable method: use Swagger to precipitate the virtual equivalent of "stop hitting yourself," Not enough? Add a poison attack for good measure. The sky's the limit.
- Pivots and Switches Unlike the regular game, dispatching your opponents won't give you a chance to switch out without wasting a turn and there's nothing worse than swapping in a fresh battler just to get a Dynamic Punch to the gut. Luckily for you, there are Pokémon you can tailor-train to allow for the old switcheroo. While not every little 'mon can pivot like an Amoonguss, the game has a couple of moves that allow you to retreat and turn the battle to your favor. Baton Pass is amongst the most useful - it allows you to switch and retain all your buffs. Meanwhile, other moves like Parting Shot and U-Turn will let you take passing shots at your enemies as the Pokemon rockets out of view. Switching can also be used to your advantage with moves that hit so hard (Circle Throw and Dragon Tail) they send Pokémon flying back to their balls.
- Dancers and Buff-machines Tierno, or better known as that big-boned dancer from X and Y, might be too focused on his dream to enter So You Think Your Pokemon can dance but the truth is his desire for a dream Dance team isn't actually FarFetch'd. While the idea of cavorting Pokémon might seem silly, moves like Swords Dance and Dragon Dance are some of the most dangerous buffs in the game. Dances usually increase more than one statistic at the same time, giving you even more reasons to do it than just looking cool.
- Stalling Beating other Pokémon is only half of the game. The real challenge is being able to manage the tempo of battle. A combination of heavy-duty defensive monsters can stop your opponent's offensive plays dead in their tracks.. Stallers are focused on negating weather effects and dangerous status ailments while inflicting them on the enemy team even as they set up traps to keep pressure on your opponent.
For more tips, including new X & Y features and the most powerful Pokemon, head over to US Gamer.