PokéBase - Pokémon Q&A
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Recently I've been doing a lot of team building, but I was wondering what would actually be 'good coverage'. I know some people that say it is moves that are super effective against types that the user is weak to (so like a Vaporeon having ice beam just because it is weak to grass) and others that say it is moves that are super effective on types the user can't do anything against but is not weak to (so having thunder punch on an Infernape would be bad because it only helps against the types that Infernape is weak to). Are either of these correct? If not, what is correct?

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This is for competitive, right? What format/rules are you playing with?
Does it matter? Gee, this really shows how little I know. lol. Tell me how it changes because I play in a lot of different formats. And this is for competitive and in-game by the way.
For in-game, you usually want to deal the maximum possible damage during each turn. When you can learn an attack move, and your Pokemon already knows 4 attack moves, forget whichever attack has the lowest chance of being the strongest attack in some future situation.
If you're using offensive Pokemon in competitive battles, then you usually want to prepare for Pokemon that opponents are likely to use. Togekiss is common in VGC 20, so Conkeldurrs in VGC 20 usually know ice punch. Aegislash is common in OU, so Conkeldurrs in OU usually know knock off. https://www.smogon.com/stats/ tells you what opponents are likely to use on Showdown!, but I'm less familiar with how people collect statistics outside Showdown!.
If you're using defensive Pokemon in competitive battles, then you usually want your defensive Pokemon to be Chansey or therian Landorus.

2 Answers

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Best answer

Covering your weaknesses is the first and foremost criterion here, if you don't have anything super effective against your weaknesses, then you'll generally be forced to switch.

However, not all Pokemon learn (viable) moves that can counter their weaknesses, so at the very least, you might want to hit them for at least neutral damage. Finally, against any random Pokemon, your Pokemon should be able to hit for at least neutral damage. This is easier to obtain if your Pokemon knows moves of 3-4 types, or even something like Electric and Ice type moves (hence the popularity of the Bolt-Beam combo) which hit most Pokemon for at least 1x damage.

You should check out which Pokemon you're most likely to encounter (if you're playing competitive) or what types of Pokemon trainers (Gym leaders/ E4/ Champion) have for in-game teams.

You can use this link to help see if you've got enough coverage.

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As for the particular case of Thunder Punch on Infernape, it's not the worst you can have, as it does help out against Water type Pokemon, specially with the hidden ability, but generally a Close Combat would do greater neutral damage due to higher base power and same type attack bonus, so you can instead have some other move.
Thanks! I'll probably be using that link a lot!
Sure, no problem, glad I could help out! :D
2 votes

It all depends.

If you're using a boosting sweeper, usually you'd like to have coverage against Pokemon whom you would not deal enough damage to using your main moves.
Eg: Earthquake on DD M-Salamence beats the Steel and Rock type Pokemon on whom Flying is NVE.

Sometimes, priority acts as coverage against Faster or Boosting Pokemon.
Eg: Extreme Speed on Rayquaza for Deoxys-A.

Other times, you'd like to have your teammates remove troublesome Pokemon before you send out the main sweeper. Coverage isn't very necessary then.
Eg: Tapu Fini and Tyranitar to check and overwhelm Heatran before sweeping with Volcarona.

Ultimately, it all depends upon the rest of your team and your Pokemon's role. Because ultimately the objective is not to have good coverage, but to win.

Just ask yourself while building a team, "Which Pokemons will my team struggle against? Should I replace a team member, or add a coverage move to counter the Pokemon?"
"Which Pokemons will this specific member struggle against? Should I add coverage for it, or will adding coverage cause another problem to it? Should I try to remove that Pokemon with teammates instead?"

Hope I helped!

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