This post will help you follow the RMT section rules, give you resources to improve your knowledge of competitive Pokemon, and help you make a good quality RMT post.
If you're already experienced with competitive Pokemon, skip to advice on writing a high-quality RMT post. There are also example RMT posts at the end.
Including the required details [rule 2.1]
To post a thread, you must specify the battle format your team is made for. The format decides what Pokemon, items, etc. are allowed. It also affects what the "meta" is.
If you're not 100% certain what battle formats are, read 'What is a battle format?'. If you've heard of tiers but don't know what they are, also read 'What are tiers and how do they work?'.
If you didn't make your team with a specific battle format in mind, don't post it on RMT. To make a team of bare-minimum quality, you must know about the format you're playing. If you're new, you'll find it more helpful to research and then come back with a proper competitive team you made yourself.
For example, many players who are new to Showdown build a team they like and then choose the "Anything Goes" or "National Dex AG" battle format, because it seemed to fit. If this is you, don't post your team! Use the resources below to improve your knowledge.
To post on the RMT section, you must also list moves, abilities, items, EVs, and natures for every Pokemon. New players sometimes struggle with EVs; if that's you, then try reading 'What are EVs and IVs, and how do they work?', and then Smogon's introduction to strategy with EVs. You must include a legal and proper EV spread on every Pokemon when you post in the RMT section.
Why so strict?
It's not worth rating teams made by new players who haven't yet understood battle formats, etc. Tearing their teams apart will not help them. The best advice is start again after learning the basics and researching properly. We are not here to repeat the basics ad nauseam.
You know that you’ve progressed beyond the "beginner" stage if you’re adding things to your team in response to specific threats and trends you know exist in the metagame. If you couldn’t hold a conversation about such things, then be warned your naivety will show in the choices you make.
Teambuilding 101 [rule 2.2]
The RMT area is focused on competitive play, which means winning battles at all costs. To make a competitive team, you need prior knowledge about the battle format you're playing, and willingness to use any Pokemon or strategy that will help you win.
If you need help choosing a battle format, try browsing Smogon's strategy dex. You may find a format with rules you like. OU and BSS are good starting points because they have intuitive rules (i.e. most legendaries are banned and most other things are allowed). You could also pick your favourite Pokemon, then use the resources below to investigate which battle formats it is strong in.
If you want to improve your knowledge of the meta in a format, you will find many helpful resources on the Smogon Forums. Listed below are the most important of these. (The examples relate to Gen 8 OU, but you can find the same resources for most formats.)
- Viability rankings (example), which give an overview of what the most important Pokemon in the metagame are, according to people who know it well.
- Role compendium (example), which help you understand what each Pokemon can be used for in your team, and precisely why they're popular.
- Sample teams (example), which can give you some pointers for basic teambuilding and how the Pokemon fit together.
- Usage statistics (root directory), which give an unopinionated view of what Pokemon and strategies are popular -- especially the
- Strategy analysis on Smogon's strategy dex (example for Garchomp in Gen 8 OU), which help with individual Pokemon, and help you get into the mind of competitive players.
There are also YouTube videos and discussion boards (example) you can lurk to help you learn.
If you're not willing to use any Pokemon or strategy that would help you win, don't post your team. Here are some examples of non-competitive approaches to teambuilding that will not be accepted.
- As stated in the rules: If you play a format that allows legendaries, then you must be willing to use legendaries, or we will remove your post. We also look down upon attitudes like "don't suggest choice items", etc.
- Saying "please don't replace the Pokemon". If replacing the Pokemon would help you win and you don't want to do it, then you're not a competitive player.
- Teams of favourites or theme teams, e.g. squads of Eeveelutions or Sinnoh-only teams. These are not competitive teams. (Similarly: monotype teams used outside of dedicated monotype formats are not allowed.)
- Troll teams that depend on gimmick strategies. Please don’t post teams intended to get funny replays or cheap wins against bad players.
- Teams full of "underrated" Pokemon, without explanation for how the Pokemon is supposed fit into the metagame.
- Repurposed in-game teams. Make a competitive team instead.
If you simply want to take down legendaries in low-ladder NDAG using your faves, that's totally fine. But please respect that you're not a competitive player, and you can't post your teams here.
Choosing a good title
To help your team stand out, use a descriptive title that will separate your team from others. Do not use a generic title like "Rate my OU team". Here are some ideas:
- Include the battle format (and generation) in your title, so people who play that format will notice your post.
- Mention an important Pokemon or core that is included in your team. You can also mention the teambuilding style used. For example, if I build an offence team that is mostly based around getting Volcarona to sweep, then I might include "Volcarona offence" in my title. If I made a rain team, then I could mention that too.
- Some people like to include the team’s ladder peak in their title, perhaps to indicate the standard of player they’d expect advice from.
- Maybe you want to name your team.
If you don't choose a good title, somebody else may do it for you.
Explaining your thought process
At minimum, we require the following level of explanation in your RMT post:
For each Pokémon, give the reason why you chose the Pokémon, and an explanation of the strategy for the set.
This information helps us understand what you are trying to achieve with each Pokemon, so that we can preserve your goals in our team rate. It also gives us an idea of your level of knowledge (so we can explain more carefully if you're new).
Some people like to give a step-by-step explanation of the teambuilding process, or write some notes at the end to explain what they’re looking for, or make a "threatlist" for others to help deal with.
Avoid explaining the literal function of the moves, etc. on your team. Anybody worth your time listening to already knows about those things. We want to hear about your strategy, and why you made certain choices on your team. Be more insightful than "x is STAB, y is coverage" (coverage for what exactly, and why?).
If you don't know what to write about, you may need to test your team more (see below).
Test your team first
By testing out your team, you’re likely to pick up on errors and change your mind about certain ideas. Ironing those out before you make your post is always a good idea.
Testing out your team will also give you stronger opinions about your strategies and help you recognise strengths and weaknesses. This is good, because then you can ask for help about something specific. You can also get battle replays by playing matches, which is another tool you can use to direct feedback.
It is easiest to test your team on Showdown even if you play on cart, as it's easier to change your sets and faster to finish battles.
Use Showdown-importable syntax
Showdown-importable syntax (shown below) is a standard for sharing movesets in competitive Pokemon. Structuring your movesets in this way increases readability and ensures you don’t leave details out.
It is much easier to enter your team into Showdown and then export it than to write this manually.
[Pokemon] @ [Item]
EVs: [#] [Stat] / [#] [Stat] / ...
- [Move 1]
- [Move 2]
- [Move 3]
- [Move 4]
Please also include your team in your post itself instead of Pokepasting it (though you’re welcome to do both).
To see how a good RMT differs from a bad RMT, check the posts below. They contain the exact same BDSP OU team but present it in different ways, some good and some bad. There are some notes at the bottom of each post explaining some defining features.
This isn't the most fantastic team ever, but you should still notice the difference in quality between the posts (and the sort of thinking you should have as a teambuilder). The team uses some atypical Pokemon for BDSP OU to illustrate how you should justify your choices when other (possibly better) options are available.
You should look at the bad example first and work your way up.
- BAD example: A post that gives bare-minimum descriptions, which never make a real explanation of the thought process -- if there ever was one. (This is the lowest standard of post we allow on RMT.)
- OK example: A post that gives some info about the team structure and shows basic awareness of the metagame. It leaves the reader to infer how the team works together.
- GOOD example: A post that clearly explains the structure and goals of the team, and justifies each choice in that context. It shows clear awareness of the metagame. It has leads for raters to start giving feedback.
Of course, the "good" example reflects one person's opinion on what an RMT should look like. You can think about what a "great" example would be in your eyes. Many people work more on the visual presentation of their RMT, but this is mainly to demonstrate the contents of RMTs that are good and bad.