Wednesday, December 22, 2010

An Introduction to Competitive Pokémon Battling

So you want to be the very best like no one ever was? Getting 8 badges and defeating the Elite Four was only the beginning. There's a whole new challenge out there: Competitive Battling. The Pokémon metagame is one of the largest in the world, with thousands of players worldwide, with National and World Championships held each year. Think this is a challenge you want to take? Then read on, this article will teach you how to get in there and get on your way to winning.

1) Know the Game- They may use the same battle system, but the style of battling in the Pokémon video games and in competitive circles couldn't be more different. Competitive battling is leagues more complex, and must be treated as a different beast. The single best resource for Pokémon battling on the internet is Smogon University, a community with thousands of members all over the world. The website provides moveset suggestions for Pokémon, articles about various techniques and strategies, and much, much more. Study the game, learn the terminology. Knowing is half the battle.

2) Use the Community- Hundreds of Pokémon communities exist on the internet. Any respectable community usually has a forum dedicated to competitive battling. Members will disuss strategies, request critiques on their teams and movesets, and share stories of their own battles. Experience may be the single best way to learn a skill, but this is second best to learn from others' experiences. In addition, you can find a partner or a mentor; someone to help show you the ropes.

3) Ge Out There- As mentioned above, the best way to master something is experience. Whether it be grabbing some friend codes and fighting on WiFi, or downloading a battle simulator such as Pokémon Online or Pokémon Laboratory jump in and start fighting. The battles will be tough at first, and there will be many losses, but every battle is a learning experience. Persist, and before long you can be winning tournaments or burning up brackets at the National Championships.

The secret to becoming a great competitive battler is to persist and to learn. Every fight will teach you about what works, and what doesn't. Don't be discouraged, if you lose, decide what could be improved with your strategy, then hop back in and try again.

External Links
Smogon University
Pokémon Laboratory
Pokémon Online

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