PokéBase - Pokémon Q&A
0 votes

for someone whos played Pokemon since blue/yellow, and has no mind for grasping
how to make a proper moveset, like picking moves/abilities/items and doubles partners that work together,
and I've never been someone who can do strategy, even though I play games like that, but I'm just always making it up as I go fly by the seat of my pants and most of the time I lose terribly more so then ever winning,
the best I can do at putting together a moveset is copy someone else, I've never been capable of doing "Builds in games" I've never heard of it till recent years and never have played that way, what advice can someone give me to turn things around on this lack of capability?

I don't play specifically and I don't do real vgc tournaments, just no limits or online tournaments
That's gonna make it harder to learn because every ruleset and mode is different in some way. It would be easier to focus on a certain battle format when you first begin. If you're talking about no limits I'm guessing you're thinking of Anything Goes?

Also, are you asking for Player vs Player battles, or just in game story?
yes anything goes (best rules), and online multiplayer
Honestly my advice is just use what you like to use and if it doesn't work try something else. For example you make a team of your favourite or random pokemon. But when you try it in battle, they don't work well. Figure out why. Was it because water types destroy your team? Then replace someone on your team with a grass or electric type, or replace moves with grass or electric move. All your pokemon keep getting one hit ko'd? Replace someone on your team with a bulkier pokemon or redistribute the EVs.

It's all just trial and error in my opinion.
True, it is actually all about trial and error. Beginners make mistakes, but eventually they can become experts. (even some of the experts / moderators here have received downvotes (i.e. made mistakes) so you don't need to worry.

3 Answers

3 votes
Best answer

Seems you are a beginner (same as me!), I have learnt many things from this showdown which I have to tell you.

  1. You just need a little more experience, then you would be perfect in this!
    Never give up. Observe how other players are using their mons.

  2. Choose a good held item for it.
    For example, if it has less defenses and have moves such as Calm Mind, Swords Dance etc (Which boosts your Atk, SpA or Spe), you can't be knocked out that turn, then those moves would be useless. So Focus Sash would prevent it from getting knocked out. If it is defensive, leftovers is preferred. Life Orb if you want to hit hard. Flame Orb to activate Guts etc. Just explore every held items and you would get an idea. If you are playing showdown, you will get a list of popular items, choose one of that carefully which suits your Pokémon.

  3. Choose your moves wisely.
    Just don't focus on attacking moves. If you pick all attacking moves, use Choice Band / Specs / Scarf (where the moves are locked but one of your stats get boosted). Get its Powerful STAB (Same Type Attack Bonus), Coverage moves and Stat boosting moves etc. (see 4th point)

  4. Plan your EVs, Nature etc
    252 (Atk or SpA) / 252 Spe / 4 (any) - this is the suitable EV spreads for a Sweeper.
    252 HP if using Rest + Chesto Berry (or Sleep Talk), or for support, setting up etc.
    Natures which hampers Atk or SpA (physical or special, depends upon the moves which the Pokémon doesn't have) are suitable.
    252 Atk or SpA / 252 HP for a sweeper who has more HP.
    Hope you get the idea.

  5. Set up a balanced team (which includes equal Physical Attackers and Special Attackers), or a Staller, or Suicide lead (Toxic Spikes / Spikes / Stealth Rock setter).

  • Good Atk/SpA and Speed for a Physical / Special Sweeper. (this Lucario is an example)
  • Good amount of HP, Def and SpD for a Wall.
  • Good Atk, Def / SpA, SpD for Physical / Special tank.

Edit: Special / Physical Sweeper

I would like to take an example of Lucario.

Ability: Think and choose his ability. Justified is useless as your opponent already knows that Dark type moves is not very effective to Lucario. The rest is just okay, you got an option between Steadfast and Inner Focus. One raises his speed when flinched and other makes him immune to Flinching and Intimidate. The second one is useful if you want to use a Physical Lucario. If you want to use a special one, then either is good. (You must use either special or physical, not both. For both Physical and Special, you can't use both Swords Dance and Nasty Plot, you don't have many spots, you have variety of options so you may get confused, so just don't use it.)

Physical Lucario


  • It has access to Bulk Up (+1 Atk, +1 Def) and Swords Dance (+2 Atk). (Magnet Rise also)

Other Moves Available:

  • Blaze Kick
  • Bullet Punch (works well after Swords Dance)
  • Fighting STAB moves (Brick Break, Circle Throw, Close Combat, Cross Chop, Drain Punch, High Jump Kick, Low Kick)
  • Crunch, Shadow Claw
  • Meteor Mash
  • Earthquake (Fire Coverage)
  • Poison Jab
  • Thunder Punch, Ice Punch
  • Rock Slide, Stone Edge (Fire Coverage)
  • Zen Headbutt (Fighting Coverage)
  • Normal type moves.

So, from these moves, we have to pick any three.

  • Swords Dance
  • Bullet Punch (for +1 Priority or 100% Acc) / Meteor Mash (Power)
  • Close Combat (Power)
  • Earthquake (Fire Coverage)

Based on this moveset, let's determine our held item.
Swords Dance - As I had already mentioned, Focus Sash is useful here.

EV Spread: This set for Lucario is set for the role of Sweeper.
252 Atk / 252 Spe / 4 (Any)

Nature: Hampering its SpA. As he already has Swords Dance (which raises its Atk), his Speed needs to be raised. +Spe / -SpA -> Jolly Nature

Special Lucario


  • It has access to Calm Mind (+1 SpA, +1 SpD) and Nasty Plot (+2 SpA).

Other Moves Available

  • Fighting STAB moves (Aura Sphere, Focus Blast)
  • Steel STAB moves (Flash Cannon, Steel Beam)
  • Dark Pulse, Dragon Pulse, Shadow Ball
  • Psychic (Fighting Coverage)

So, from these moves, we have to pick any three.

  • Nasty Plot
  • Aura Sphere
  • Flash Cannon
  • Psychic (Fighting Coverage)

EV Spread: 252 SpA, 252 Spe, 4 (Any)

Nature: Hampering its Atk. As he already has Nasty Plot (which raises its SpA), his Speed needs to be raised. +Spe / -Atk -> Timid Nature

Held Item: Same

Support (or suicide lead)

Example: Roserade.
Roserade has low physical defenses, it may get knocked out very early. So you can set it up as a suicide lead (start with her)
For suicide leads, natures, held items doesn't matter.


  • Toxic Spikes
  • Toxic (because the present Pokémon doesn't get affected by toxic spikes, only if you switch in you would get poisoned).
  • Leaf Storm (atleast one STAB is compulsory)
  • Extrasensory (if opponent is a poison type (even they don't get poisoned by toxic spikes))

(I'm not sure whether you can throw spikes and Toxic spikes at the same time. If so, you can replace it with Extrasensory)

EV Spread:
It needs to be fast for setting up, and for this you need more HP so that you can throw more spikes, so the EV spread goes like this:
252 HP / 252 Spe / 4 SpA
Nature : Timid (-Atk, +Spe)

This link could help you: Source

So like this we can plan their movesets. You don't need to get confused too much :)
Hope this helps :)

edited by
the problem is I can't look at a pokemon and know what suits it, I can't tell how to build anything of this sort,
but just copy others, but I want to be able to make my own movesets I just don't know how to know what to pick that suits each Pokemon, after what you said, all that would do "Is Confuse Me" that name examples but not how to know myself what "Each Pokemon should be like"
Actually shell bell isntt very good. Also, some mixed pokemon do exist, and while they may not hit as hard they still work(things like genesect and dragapult)
Just know their stats and assign their roles. Like
- Good Atk/SpA and Speed for a Physical / Special Sweeper. (this lucario is an examole)
- Good amount of HP, Def and SpD for a Wall.
- Good Atk, Def / SpA, SpD for Physical / Special tank.
Or just observe others' movesets and try to apply the same strategy to a similar Pokémon. Give me any mon, I would build a strategy for you, apply the same for the similar ones. Or do you want to know how to build a team?
I want to use Gigantamax meowth, incineroar, purrloin, Male and Female Meowstic and Perrserker.
btw I would eventually add still more... I can't finish all in one day!
I want to use Gigantamax meowth, incineroar, purrloin, Male and Female Meowstic and Perrserker.
commented 1 hour ago by Meowth_Master_Matiu

Sorry it may take time, as I have to analyse them and help you to make strategy. I would eventually post it on your wall. Just click on your name to access it. I also have Mid Term Exams going on btw. Sorry for the inconvenience. I would try my best.
Except Incineroar, every mon you have chosen is pretty waste, and can get OHKO'd very easily. If it is Anything goes, then even Incineroar is bad (but it is manageable).

4 of your mons are weak to fighting.
two of them are dark, two are psychic.

My advice is, pick mons from Übers. Choose any electric type (hits water type which are the weaknesses of Incineroar), Water type (hits rock and Ground types which are the weaknesses of Incineroar), a better normal type, a fighting or a ground type (hits various mons)..... Hope you get the idea of building the team. and Again, selct the mons who are in OU or Above. I am also building a Team. If you defeat me, then think you are succesful.
3 votes

I suggest that you do what you are doing: Use movesets from other players.
Nobody starts out the best. If your movesets don't work out, then don't be hesitated to use someone else's moveset that seems to work well. It's okay if you copy someone's moveset. You won't get in trouble.
Another thing to do is to watch others play.
If you happen to know a friend or somebody who's good at competitive, watch thier battles. This can easily be done on Showdown. You can always ask a user to put the links of thier battles on your wall so you can watch them. By watching somebody play, you can start to learn what moves you should put on your Pokemon and which Pokemon you should use.
Just look at the moveset pages we have on Pokemon Database.
If you type the name of a Pokemon into the search bar, the first thing to pop up will most likely be "What is a good moveset for (Pokemon's name you typed in.)" By looking at others movesets, you can start to learn what EVs you should invest in, which items are good on Pokemon, what moves work well on the Pokemon, what Nature you should have, things like that. Like I said, by looking at what other players do, it will help you to make movesets that work for you.
Take a Pokemon's stats and moves into consideration.
If a Pokemon has stats such as high Attack, low Special Attack, but gets access to lots of Special moves, High Special Attack, low Attack, but gets access to many Physical moves, or High Offensive stats but has poor Defenses and low Speed, you probably shouldn't use those Pokemon. Look at a Pokemon's Stats to see what they are best with. The base stats of a Pokemon are HP, Attack, Defense, Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed. Pokemon with high Attack should have strong Physical moves. A Pokemon with high Special Attack should have strong Special moves. Pokemon with high HP and Defenses should be used as stallers and to set up entry hazards. Also, Pokemon that have moves of the same type as themselves get STAB, Same Type Attack Bonus. This will mean that a Pokemon gets a little more power for moves of thier type. It is also useful to have coverage moves. This way, a Pokemon that is weak against another Pokemon can have a move or moves to deal with the opponent. You should never have all moves of the same type.
Use EVs that benefit your Pokemon.
A few EVs can make a huge difference in a battle. EVs can help you tank a strong attack or deal enough damage to finish off a though opponent. Spread EVs on different stats. You can use EVs to make a Pokemon's attacks stronger, make them bulkier, and get them a bit faster. Also, use EVs that can benefit what your Pokemon is used for. For example, don't put Attack EVs on a Special Attacker.
Make sure your Pokemon have good natures.
Natures can help a Pokemon in battle by giving it a stat boost. However, while one stat is boosted, another one is lowered. An example of how to use natures is to have a Special Attacker with a modest nature. This will lower the Pokemon's Attack while upping it's Special Attack. Use Showdown's team builder to see all natures and what they do.
Apply good items to your Pokemon.
Certain items can help your Pokemon out in battle, depending on what moves, stats, and other things your Pokemon has. For example, attach a Life Orb if you want to deal more damage and you don't care about losing a little HP after each attack. It all depends on your moves and what your Pokemon are going to be used for.
Most importantly, just try out your movesets.
Never give up. If you keep trying out your Pokemon, you'll eventually find something that works for you. Change things around. Use different Pokemon. Ask others for advice. You will get better if you keep battling and paying attention to what is effective.

Hope this helped.

1. I'm not trying to be the best I'm trying to find a way to learn how to do this stuff cause I just don't get it,
2. I've been doing that,
3. I've watched several videos and about seeing/trying/knowing what works with my mind I wouldn't know what works unless I win so that's no help,
4. I don't understand how to know the right nature, evs or abilities or items for anything all I know is what I see everyone else do I just can't tell what's right for any pokemon this isn't my normal way to play a game but that's pokemon and I'm now trying to catch up,
2 votes

Here is how I make my own movesets

1.Identify it's role
No matter what Pokemon you use, it always has a certain role that it's gonna fulfill. Usually the roles determine what to invest EV's in and moves into or the other way around.

Here are some popular roles that many use:

Physical Sweeper
A Pokemon who uses physically offensive moves to do damage and bring down an opponent's team. Many carry Attack boosting moves, like Swords Dance or Dragon Dance.

Special Sweeper
A Pokemon who uses specially offensive moves to do damage and bring down an opponent's team. Many carry Special Attack boosting moves, like Nasty Plot or Calm Mind.

Pivot (Defensive / Offensive)
A pivot is a Pokemon that is generally only used for switching. Due to good defensive stats and a solid defensive typing, they can usually take little damage as they switch in, and the opposing switch they force allows the player to switch again safely to another Pokemon. An offensive pivot will force a switch by threatening KO on the opponent, thus obtaining momentum, whereas a defensive pivot will be difficult to break past, and thus will slow the opponent's momentum.

A Pokemon intended to take either physical or special attacks extremely effectively and consistently over the course of a battle.

A Pokemon who uses non-offensive moves which benefit the team.

Suicide Lead
A lead Pokemon, who usually pack low defenses, that tries to set up entry hazards quickly and prevent opponents from doing the same, usually by Taunt, before dying.

Mixed Sweeper
A sweeper who uses both physical and special offensive moves to do damage.

An offensively oriented Pokemon meant specifically for crushing walls rather than sweeping. This is usually done with extra powerful offensive stats and commonly use both physical and special moves in their moveset.

(Note: I got this infromation by looking on Smogon University's page about roles so if you want to see all of them then check out this)

2.Determine it's stat spread and movesets
Any Pokemon have a certain set of moves, whether it's a mve of their type or another. One move for each type the Pokemon you're using gives it STAB (Same Type Attack Bonus). While you spend moveslots for the type bonus, use the others either for coverage or for status moves.Coverage is to hit back against Pokemon that would normally KO you with one shot assuming the opponent move first. Status moves can be used to increase your stats, give the opponent a status effect, or to switch (usually for pivoting). For stats, you should invest some EV's into your stat depending on your moveset. If you want a fast and powerful physical attacker, put EV's into the Attack and Speed stat and the what's left of it into others.If you want a bulky Pokemon, invest in HP, Defense, and Special Defense.Natures can help increase a stat and lower another. For example, Adamant increases Attack by 10% and lowers Special Attack by 10%.

3.Understanding Abilities
Abilities can be situational. But if it meets the conditions, it could give you a sweet reward. For example, Water Absorb makes the user regain HP when hit by a water-type move. Abilities can also be important in doubles.

And finally,

4.Testing Strategies
Showdown! is a good way to test out a team you wanna use.Just ask a friend or family member to help you test out in battle. Showdown! includes many resources to set the exact things you want such as EV's, moves and Abilities of a Pokemon you wanna use.

I hope you find this helpful. I'll wish you luck in all future battles!