Alright, the Basics thread has been re-written and updated to make it more accurate and considerably easier on the eyes. So, without further ado, read away, grasshoppers. Contents 1. The Basics 2. Raising and Breeding 3. The Moves 4. Hold Items The Basics: 1 ) Make sure you have no obvious type weaknesses running throughout your team. If you are using multiple Pokemon within a team of the same type, or that share the same weaknesses, your type weaknesses will run throughout the team and you will risk being swept by a Pokemon that your team is weak to – for instance, if you were to run Tentacruel, Electivire and Heatran all in the same team, you'd run a severe risk of being swept by an adversary with Earthquake or Earth Power. A Pokemon with the Flying-type or with Levitate would work to offset such a weakness, in this example. 2 ) Always try to carry one move with Same-Type Attack Bonus (STAB) on anything you want to have dealing damage. STAB is obtained by using an attack that shares the same typing as the Pokemon using it, such as Vaporeon using Surf. In the case of Pokemon with dual-STAB, such as Infernape, it can be beneficial to have two STAB attacks, one for each of Infernape's respective types (Fire and Fighting) but this isn't always the case – Lucario for instance is Fighting/Steel, but rarely ever uses Steel STAB attacks since the type is rather poor offensively, and prefers to stick simply to a single STAB Fighting-type attack. 3 ) Never have two attacks of the same type on one Pokemon. There are some exceptions to this rule, such as Lucario running both Aura Sphere and Vacuum Wave on a set so it gets STAB priority as well as a harder-hitting STAB attack, or Kingdra running Waterfall and Hydro Pump for mixed sweeping, on top of simply having nothing else better than its STAB attacks. If you're unsure whether you have a genuine reason for using two attacks of the same type on a Pokemon, then you're far better off playing it safe and sticking to using attacks with entirely different typing. 4 ) Never use two-turn attacks like Hyper Beam and Sky Attack – Hyper Beam's recharge turn will allow the opponent a free attack or switch, one that could quite easily cost you the entire match. Sky Attack requires a turn to charge up – a turn that leaves you wide open to attack and also grants the opponent a free switch-in on whatever attack you planned to use (and they will know exactly what attack you're preparing as well. Moves such as Fly, Dig and Dive which render the user almost invulnerable during the charge up turn are superior to moves like Sky Attack, but are extremely situational and are best avoided when simply looking for standard, damaging attacks. 5 ) Avoid using HM moves in battle as well – with the exceptions of Surf and Waterfall, and to far more situational extents Rock Smash, Fly and Dive, most of the HM moves generally have far better alternatives for use in battle – Cut and Strength for instance are made redundant by moves such as Body Slam and Return on any Pokemon looking for a Normal-type physical attack, while Flash and Defog are just poor moves in general. 6 ) Use diverse attacks on your Pokemon (This is literally a repeat of #3). Preferably, you'll want to use attack combinations that cover as many types as possible, while also covering your own type weaknesses if able. For example, many Water-types like to carry an Ice-type attack to deal with enemy Grass-types in battle. If you were then to combine Water-STAB along with the aforementioned Ice-type attack with a Grass-type attack, you would then have a combination that hits every Pokemon in the game for at least neutral damage, bar Shedinja. Other combinations that grant “perfect coverage” include Fighting + Ghost, and Dragon + Ground + Fire – such combinations are generally what you want to aim for when making movesets. 7 ) Make sure each Pokemon's moveset, ability and stats are all tailored to suit each other. Starmie, for example, has high Sp.Attack and Speed but low Attack – as such, moves such as Waterfall and Avalanche would be pointless on Starmie when compared to Surf and Ice Beam. Starmie also gets two potential abilities: Illuminate and Natural Cure. While Natural Cure is a very useful ability in battle, Illuminate is completely useless in battle against another player – as such, all Starmie designed for use in competitive battles should have the Natural Cure ability in order to have the greatest battling potential. 8 ) This will seem obvious to experienced players, but if you are new to competitive battling then I cannot stress this enough: Just because a Pokemon/moveset works well in the anime or in RPs, it does not mean it will work in competitive battle! No Pikachu will ever be as successful as Ash's is in the anime, Gyarados using Hyper Beam may be able to destroy towns in the anime but it absolutely sucks in competitive battle, and that deadly Infernape you use in your RPs with Flare Blitz, Flamethrower, Close Combat and Mach Punch would get annihilated against any experienced player in a competitive match. When it comes to competitive battling, disregard absolutely everything from RPs or the anime, because anything from either of them is likely to fail in competitive battle 90% of the time.