Pokémon Showdown: The Free Battling Website

In the past the other Pinkies and me have talked a bit about a wonderful website named Pokémon Showdown and today I Chibi Pinkie will tell you all about that place.
If you like it enough maybe we can even play pokémon together sometime! That sounds like fun.. and like a pretty easy win for me… teehee!

A free website

Pokémon Showdown is a website owned by a guy named Guangcong Luo. He and his merry band of developers started this site with a golden idea.. and an even purer heart.. I think. Heavily affiliated with Smogon , the biggest brain in the Pokémon World,  these people knew the pain of painstakingly breeding a pokémon and figured.. there should be an easier way to make the ultimate bidoof opposed to catching one thousand and then breeding it a million times. They wanted to make a website that is clear and transparent and communicates better to the players. A way to teach more people in a more accessible way about competitive battling as it were. It would also be a great place where people could test out create movesets and new EV spreads for pokémon so we don’t just have that boring little old meta that one guy tried and everyone repeats.. because it’s to much of a hassle to  experiment in the games. While during their lifespan this has been made a bit easier in the Pokémon video games themselves the website really catered to those wanting to get more into pokémon but who can’t spare hours on end to breed a single pokémon .. let alone six. Allowing support for people who wish to ‘hack’ these new sets into their game,  as well as giving people easier access to legit breeding recipes alongside making it all way more accessible to newbies, the site is very much alive and visited by dozens of people each day, never a boring moment on showdown.

Creating your own sets

The main idea of the site is that you can create your own teams to battle online with. You pick your favorite pokémon and spec them out in the way you like with straightforward and clear controls. Slapping EV’s is as easy as adjusting some slider controls, moves you just  select from a list and hidden abilities as well as the normal ones are all available to you from the get go. In the real game you’d have to catch a pokémon with the nature you want (a 1 in 24 chance) you’d have to breed it into a pokémon with good IV’s , which takes several hours and attempts, you’d have to manually EV train it and level it, which depending on your game can be either annoying or ‘please arceus drag me to pokehell anything better than this’ if you prefer an older game, and this is before we even consider trading it up to a proper game if the one you want is not in the more recent ones. What takes you blood sweat and plenty of tears in the real games will take you just a few clicks on showdown. Convenient!

The site is helpfull enough to suggest EV spreads (compare EV training ito upgrading a stat in any other rpg but instead of a + button in the game you’ll have to battle or play minigames or use items)  based on the popular Metagame. However creating a Pokémon can be quite daunting to the newcomers. Showdown does assume some knowledge of tiers with over 90 possible tiers or competitions to compete in the website (with 30 being relevant or so) that’s quite a gargantuan wall to climb over. Luckily the game will apply some filters for you while making teams and will tell you what is and what is not allowed. As long as you play with friends I suggest building your team in anything goes, if you want to climb the ladders you probably know enough to build within one of the many options they have to offer and even if you do not, the website still has you sort off covered.

Random Battles

By far the most amazing and fun feature on this website to me is Random Battles. This is just perfect fun for you and your friends. This will hook you up with 6 randomly chosen, semi competitive sets on pokémon of various tiers and you do battle with your team.  While not every pokémon features there, there still plenty for you to enjoy with all about three or four variations you can roll into. If you want a quick and fun pokémon battle this is your mode. Something I play on a daily basis and the matchmaking is excellent. No matter what time of the day I play, no matter how good or bad my ranking is at the time I find a match within seconds. These matches aren’t always balanced , there were times where I rolled into 4 legendaries and my opponent into zero allowing me to waltz over them, but at the same time the inverse happens. It even happens that you might get four legendaries but you have nothing to hit your opponent super effectively with and he trashes your amazing pokémon. It is all part of the fun.  These random matches do wonders in teaching people trough play on how certain pokémon should be played and what competitive pokémon battling looks like. Unfortunately the random mode has not been refined enough yet to make it possible for double battles. I am very interested in doubles but I lack the finesse needed into knowing what would be a great way to build my team around the format so I’d need some examples.  There are plenty of other modes to have fun with though, some education some are just insane fun. Do you want to find out what sets are good.. play Gen VII random battles if you want to break the rules a bit.. play random hackmons cup, in this series pokémon will have abilities and moves they normally don’t but it will help you think creatively as a trainer. If you want to go completely bonkers play Super Staff Bros brawl, here the pokémon talk to you in meme-speak, they get new abilities that dont even exist in the game and their stats don’t make sense at all. It’s complete madness.. but no matter if you are a noob or a pro.. here the playing field is somewhat even, just great fun to play.

How to Pokémon

No matter which mode you play Pokémon Showdown is very good in informing the player so they can make their best plays. You can see your pokémon’s stats just by hovering over them and you can see a speed range your opponent is in, which means.. you’ll learn how fast each pokémon is as you play more.. which is a great skill to have in the actual competition. You see the moves your opponent revealed possible abilities and much much more. While it does not state what the opponent’s ability does (because it would clutter the screen to much)  every tool you need to become a master is at your disposal on this site.

If you boost your stats regular pokémon will not tell you the effect, or even  how much your stat is raised. Showdown shows you exactly what effect Swords Dance or other boosting moves have on your stat. It will allow you to grasp the mutations going on. You will know that if a pokémon outspeeds you.. while it has a lower stat than you that it must have an ability for it or is holding a speed boosting item, in time you’ll learn to grasp these abilities and items and their effect. With just a few matches you’ll gain  some insight and knowhow on how this game works and with each match you learn something new. I’ve been playing showdown for about a year maybe a bit more and I still learn new things about moves. For being free to play the game knows little toxicity. Usually with a low threshold to play a lot of mean and spiteful people show up but honestly 80% of my random encounters are mutes they will just battle and leave which is perfectly fine to me. About 15% of my total encounters is nice, they GG and talk a bit about unlucky crits and other RNG mishaps, at times they can help you understand something that went wrong or explain the items on their pokémon and such. Then there is the 5% that are douche canoes that will tell you off for misplays or scoff.  It’s your average fortnite player type of behaviour, luckily since Pokémon involves a bit more mind games (knowing when to switch or what moves they will use) they don’t win that often and are usually swiftly dealt with. While i do recognise they know more than me in terms of stats and how it translates into damage, they tend to be overly focussed on kill you as fast as possible and will make mistakes of that. Pressing the super effective button every time they get the chance makes them predictable. Chat can be used for more than just to insult or praise your opponent though Using chat commands like !weak (pokemon name) you can find out exactly what types the pokémon is weak too , what it resists and even if damage will get doubled or quadrupled (by colour). So regardless of your skill level Showdown has the proper tools for you and in five percent of your matches you’ll even get some bonus tools.

Question to my Readers:

Will you check out Pokémon Showdown?

So I honestly recommend checking this amazing website out, whether it is for just a random battle or trying to update your knowledge or even to hang out with people on the forum, this is a nice place for everything pokémon. Not as nice as my site of course, but I have to stop blogging for today anyway!

The Pinkest Poké Blogger is Blasting off again!
XO
Pinkie

Top 5 : Beginners tips for battling

Hello there little monsters, the sun is shining and it’s about as hot as a Torkoals as…uhm tail out there, so I am staying in to write you another Top 5. This week I will be there for you! Well at least those who are just dipping their feet in the world of Pokémon We all started our journey by just slapping four powerful attacks on our entire team, and sweep leagues with it. However if you ever want to Nuzlocke, play fan games or maybe play a few Pokémon matches for real, you should do well to heed these tips.

Bonus tip:  Check out Pokemon Showdown
What is Pokémon Showdown? Well it is a browser based Pokémon battling game, in which you can build and test out teams, by allowing you easy access to all moves without having to go through breeding for it, or even IV or EV training. With easy slider controls anyone can build their custom Pokémon very easily and test them out in a battle. A perfect tool to practice the tips I am about to share. Play the option to do random battles as well,to get a good feeling on what movesets work and which don’t .
Furthermore I won’t be going into EV’ and IV’s in this post because these are too complex for a non dedicated post. Showdown is such an amazing tool for the aspiring battle you should really pay it a visit, after you are done reading the post of course! Otherwise I will come online on Showdown and kick your Mudbray.

“Tehee She doesn’t mean she’ll kick me me she means your Arse’

Tip 5: Know your move categories. 
“Pinke what do you mean by that move categories, that’s not even a word’ Well no it’s two, but when I would have called it move type it would get confusing , as I am not referring to Pokémon typings. I am referring to physical and special moves.
You know the reason why you have attack and special attack with the same going for defence and special defence. Yet, so many rookie trainers run bite on Espeon or Dark Pulse on Absol, because it kinda looks cool. Now don’t get me wrong, running either of these moves can still be smart but you would not be playing to your Pokémon’s strengths, partially because the game doesn’t properly teach you how to do it correctly. When you learn a new move, it features one of three symbols. A red and Yellow explody mark, a purplish blue, ripple in the water like symbol, and a grey Yin and Yang. The grey yin and yang symbol, signifies status moves. Non combat moves that effect either stats or conditions. Toxic, Calm Mind and Laser Focus are all in this category, and should not be slept upon. The red  and yellow explosion thingy signifies a physical move, it means the pokémon have a lot of muscle their, punches and clawing hurts. Most physical attackers are fairly recogniseable. If their physical stat (after like level 30 or so) is like 25% higher or more, its oftenly a good idea to run them with physical moves only.  If your Pokémon is level 50, and it’s stats in a category are less than 70 I’d say for a rookie its best to ignore said move type.
The purple blue, rings signify a special attacker, these are your ‘ranged’ attackers. In generally if you feel the move  would classify as magic, it’s quite oftenly a special attack. Pokémon with a high special attack stat, you oftenly want to equip with moves like Psychic, Thunder and Fireblast. Pokémon who have high defensive status you’ll oftenly want to equip with moves of the Yin Yang categorie.. Chansey for example has a high special defence modifier, and is quite safe to swap into a , let’s say Primarina. It will benefit most from the yin-yang type moves, a defensive mon will oftenly deal more damage with toxic or leech seed, then with it’s own attacks. If you understand your stats, and the role moves take onto the battlefield, you will understand what role your Pokémon has and you will be able to utilize them better.

Punching , spiiting, drugging, this is how we play Pokémon

Tip 4: Status to victory
Assuming you read the last tip, it is important to keep in mind though too not overly rely in high power special attackers and attackers either, most of the time it is unwise to run four random attacks, or even four chosen attacks, yes there are Pokémon who are so good at offence you should let them focus on it, in general you will want to be able to inflict some status conditions as well. However, aside from poison, young trainers oftenly are under the misconception that you status for its primary effect, which in some cases are true, but both burn and paralysis offer secondary beneficial effects that are way more important than a 30% skip chance or a bit of damage over time. Paralysis halves an opponent’s speed stat, which allows you to get the drop on an opponent who otherwise might have outsped and knocked out your sweet friend. Burn halves the physical attack stat, Slaking and Hitmonchan might seem scary, but when burned they will deal but a fraction of the damage they could before. Charm and confuse are great, but be sure to bring moves that are sure to hit, you do not want to deal with supersonics miss chance. Sleep still is a great status, Yawn is great for forcing an opponent to swap his pokémon, allowing you to create favorable momentum for yourself, while Spore is the best sleep move in the game with it’s 100% accuracy. Stay away from dream eater though, comboing of status you inflict can be fairly unreliable, so only use these if your Pokémon can take a hit. The best moves to combo of a status would be Hex and Venoshock.  Hex being the more versatile of the two. Whatever you do, never bring a team with only offensive moves. Pokémon is not just about raw power, it has a lot to do with momentum as well and nothing can shift the balance  as much as status.

Pinkie’s Life Lesson : Burning a physical pokemon is smart, but burn Ursaring and you’ll get burned yourself.

Tip 3: A good defence and build up
A good Mon is easy to build, a good team is much harder. When you begin battling, I would very much recommend taking one or two walls along. I am not referring to stakkatakka , though he actually is a wall… and a wall. The word in Pokémon terms is most of the time what a “tank” would be in your MMO like setting, however in a 1V1 format, agro isn’t much of a thing. So you will want to bring a Mon that can take a hit, Shuckle, Umbreon, Chansey, Aggron, Tyranitar, Snorlax and Slaking are functional examples but Sigilyph and Politoed are also some amazing walls.  You can defend yourself in other ways as well. Protect in itself might be somewhat pointless, a well timed one, can prevent you from an explosion or even a one hit knockout move. Rest is your friend! Though it seems very unfavorable to go to sleep for two turns, the 100% heal, including any other status, because rest overrules it, is one of the greatest tools in your arsenal to build a great team. Combine it with some build up moves, that increase your stats, like calm mind , swords dance or bulk up, if possible alongside sleep talk.. and you got your first destructive combo on your hands. Buff your stats or debuff your opponent to a point where you control the momentum,  Babydoll eyes, and smokescreen are quite useful moves if your opponent is not a underleveled cpu. Regardless if you heal, tank or debuff, if your opponent has to struggle to finish your pokemon, you gain the momentum and you are well on your way to victory.

Pinkie Says: Aegislash, with King’s Shield, Swords Dance,Shadow Sneak and Sacred Sword, is a good set

Tip 2: Battlefield Control
You and your opponent do not want to send out a Pokémon and use it up until it dies, if it is at a disadvantage you want to swap it out to regain control, however you can not keep swapping in and out , as a skilled opponent can probably predict that you will withdraw your Parasect when facing his Charizard and might even prepare a grass move anticipating that rock type that can hit it 4x effective. So you have to think of ways to control the battlefield in your favor, force your opponent to swap when you want to, or make it harder for him to swap so you have more liberties. We can achieve this by bringing hazard setting moves, like spikes, toxic spikes, and stealth rocks to discourage swapping, as they will take damage each time a new pokémon is sent in. On the other hand we can encourage swapping, by using moves like Toxic, Perish Song and Leech seed. Encouraging swap outs is very beneficial when your opponents tries to constantly buff himself to gain the upperhand, or to combo it with a move like pursuit. If you have the momentum, you might want your opponent to stay in, so you don’t have to predict as much an can just pick the team off one at a time.
You can even combine the two, where you force your opponent to choose between bleed damage from swapping out, or taking an increasing amount of dots, shifting the momentum dramatically in your favor. With firespin, whirlpool or other trapping moves like spirit shackle you can also force your opponent to stay in, or when he is gather to much buffs you can force a swap out, with Circle Throw, Dragon Tail or Roar. However, both methods of forced control have the disadvantage that they are rather situational. Trapping moves, lock you into your Pokémon as well, and swapping moves oftenly have negative priority meaning your opponent can always move first, play them at the wrong time and you will be the one losing control instead. So consider your options carefully, in my opinion forced control works better in double battles, while “encouraged” control is often edges out in singles.

Spikes, Seeds, Stealthrocks and toxic, Ferrothorn is a great and giving you momentum.

Tip 1: Items and Abilities
Items and abilities can flat out determine a game. If your opponent predicts the wrong item, he can lose all his momentum in a single turn. If you equip a choice scarf (speed rises by a lot but you can only use the first move you choose) and your opponent underestimates your speed, allowing you the quick kill, a match can be done , then and there. With all the items out there it might seem very overwhelming to choose one, but don’t worry, there are only a handful of good items. Forget about your charcoal, or your nevermeltice boosting one move type is a no go! Forget about most situational items as well. Sure a quick claw can shift a game if it triggers but a focus band.. not worth the risk. Aside from some berries, it will mostly be the items you will get from whatever your game’s rendition of the battle institute is. Your standard Life Orb, Assault Vest, Leftovers , Air Balloons and Choice (item) will be your bread and butter. There are a few other options out there, but those cater to a specific use of a Pokémon. Play some Pokémon Showdown to learn more about items and how they work or check out the youtube channel of Duncan Can’t Die, his channel focuses on battling with random Pokémon a lot so there is a lot to learn there for the beginning battler, and quite entertaining.  Aside from a Pokémon’s item you’ll need to determine your ability as well, these are less flexible then items, and you oftenly are limited to one or two good choices. Your abiltiy generally determines your chosen moveset for example if you have a pokémon that can cure it’s status in the rain, you’d bring raindance and rest 9 out of 10 times since it just works like a dream together, if you have the pixilate ability , you’ll want to run normal moves and so on. While your ability determines your moveset, your moveset determines your item, you do not want to run an Assault Vest (higher defences but you can only bring attacking moves) on your hazard setter, you do not want to give Shedinja a Life Orb (takes 10% of your max hp after each attack but boosts power). Yet if you think about your build, and let your ability and your item synergise with your moveset, you can control the battlefield and soon THE WORLD!

Togepi must hold a REALLY good item!

Now you are ready to battle, have you ever played Showdown? Have you watched a roulette free for all on Duncan’s Channel? I certainly love them, and they have made me a better battler. So young trainer, or pro who actually bothered to read through this all, to arms! Tonight we shall claim victory on the Showdown battlegrounds! Win or lose , remember to stay pink!

*Disclaimer, staying Pink is a mindset, Pinkie does not encourage you to get sunburned or bodypaint yourself pink in any shape way or form, I love everyone, you dont have to actually be pink.* <-These are needed nowadays.