PokéBase - Pokémon Q&A
4 votes

I'm sorry if this has already been asked but it didn't come up in the related questions so..
Okay, I've never been amazing at competitive battling. Sometimes I over think strategies, sometimes I go too offensive or defensive and sometimes I just make a horrible team.

However, sometimes it goes all right. I'm starting to become better at single battles with a mix of defensive and offensive Pokémon.

The thing is, I want to get started on doubles. I've been looking at team examples in the RMT and it just seems so tactical. So I was wondering if someone could give me some tips on:

  • How to have good type synergy for doubles.
  • Good Pokémon to use in doubles.
  • How to use sweepers/stallers/support (I have a feeling it's a lot different in doubles)
  • Threats in doubles.

Preferably for OU double battles.
Thanks :)

edited by
I was writing an answer for this but i misclicked and closed the tab when I was almost finished -_-. However I found a great guide which will probably help you.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KT1u_nECxtw it's made by Aaron Zheng so credits to him. I would recommend you playing VGC instead of OU double battles since it has a bigger community.
What is the main difference between VGC and OU?
In VGC you bring 6 Pokémon and then pick 4 and you have the item clause so you are limited to 1 of each item for example you can't have 2 leftovers. Then there are some more diffrences
In VGC you bring 6 Pokemon but can only use 4 in a battle. In Smogon doubles you bring 6 and use 6
The item clause does not apply in smogon doubles so you can use one item multiple times
Event Pokemon and some legendary Pokemon (all base 600s and Kyurem-B) can be used in smogon doubles while they can't be used in VGC
VGC is set to level 50 while smogon doubles is played at level 100
Smogon doubles uses clauses such as evasion and sleep clause, while VGC doesn't
Well.. that's quite a difference..

1 Answer

4 votes
Best answer

General tips



  • Considering the fact that you're getting into doubles, you undoubtedly are aware of Protect's major utility in this metagame as it enables you to deal with threatening moves such as Fake out and stall out the likes of Trick Room and Tailwind should the need call for it and of course it is generally helpful when trying to scout for your opponent's moves. Despite its great utility, it isn't a move that should be mindlessly spammed as a badly executed Protect can easily end up in your disadvantage.
    Despite Protect's great utility, strategies associated with it in single battles do not work as well as they do in double battles due to it being a very fast-paced metagame, which of course leads to stall being an unviable and rather unfavorable strategy in smogon doubles.


  • Type synergy for double teams can take a while to develop, but this generally betters itself the more you edit your team. It is important to never settle with how your doubles team looks in its first draft but to constantly better its flaws and adapt your team's synergy with the common threats in that tier, because synergy does not necessarily mean you will automatically be surviving hits.
    When building a team for any tier you should always take the different aspects of synergy into account, which are: Type synergy (Offensive and Defensive), Lead synergy and synergy factoring in checks and counters.
    While building a doubles team, I would recommend http://www.teammagma.net/teambuilder/ as a teambuilder before transferring it to PS! It helps you see your team's most noticeable weakness and how well your team can generally deal with types.

Spread Moves

  • Spread Moves are obviously of great utility in a metagame such as doubles due to there being 2 Pokemon on the field and getting damage on both can be very useful. Unlike singles, where most spread moves have a more favorable alternative such as Blizzard - Ice beam, Rock Slide - Stone Edge, Heat Wave - Flamethrower, the spread alternatives tend to hold a higher niche than their single-target counterparts in doubles.
    However it should be noted that the base power of spread moves is decreased by 3/4 in doubles. With this, Earthquake becomes a base 75 ground type move in doubles instead of a base 100 ground type move.

Fake Out

  • Fake out is a move that either make a game or break it. Due to its incredible priority rate (+3), it will usually be able to immobilize at least one of the opponent's Pokemon, even with Protect's high usage. The fact that Fake Out is generally a very predictable move, just having a Pokemon that can potentially know Fake Out can force your opponent's into making plays that can end up causing them the game. Fake Out's high usage also increase the value of Inner Focus in doubles more than in OU, but most Pokemon with this ability usually have another ability they benefit more from

Intimidate support

  • Intimidate plays a major role in double battles, however more so in VGC than in smogon doubles. It is of general utility when it comes to reducing the damage physical attackers will do in a match and can deter certain damage calcs while potentially alternating the winds in your favour.

Speed Control

  • Speed control is of vital importance in double battles. This also makes moves and strategies such as Trick Room and Tailwind a lot more viable in this metagame. Using Trick Room alone can deter more offensive and speedy team's momentum while making your slower mons considerably faster. When battling slower Trick room teams with your own, you can cancel out their Trick Room and gain the upper hand. Speed Control can also be found in other moves such as Icy Wind.

Defiant / Competitive

  • Defiant and Competitive are 2 fairly new abilities that have drastically risen in usage in doubles, or at least have made their 2 most common abusers (Milotic / Bisharp) a force to be reckoned with in this metagame due to the high amount of Intimidate support that raises the special attack / attack stat of the ability's wielder by 2 stages.


  • Feint isn't as common as it once was in this metagame, but its niche is still noticeable enough for it to be mentioned due to its ability to cancel out Protect's effects in the turn it is used.

Other things to note:

1) Always prepare for the most common threats and the most powerful attacks. To see the offensive, defensive, and speed-related bench marks you should definitely pay attention to in smogon doubles, click here (courtesy of smogon)

All relevant threats are listed (which is majority of the list), including the most potent Pokemon in the tier (stuffed in one because of the character limit)

2) Always have a way to deal with other playstyles

3) Have some variety in your teams

4)Have fun

edited by
Great answer, thanks!
Great answer bro.
1. Always...
3.Have some...
6.Have fun
^6?? It's 4 lol