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Writing questions for the main section
Submitting teams to the RMT section

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Best answer

Research first

Pokémon is fortunate to have a wealth of resources online that can help you solve basic problems. Make use of them before you ask a question on PokeBase – doing so will either give you the answer to your question, or help you write a clearer question for us to answer.

For example, by linking to someplace you’ve already checked (and explaining why it doesn't solve the problem), you can narrow down your issue and make it very clear what a potential answerer should include in their response. This is a smart way to get the exact answer you want.

You can use filters and operators on search engines to narrow down your research. Very basic problems, like finding out whether Grookey can learn Leech Seed, can be solved using any Pokedex website, including our own. Write a question on PokeBase when simple resources like these don’t give a clear solution.

Use a clear, descriptive and unique title

Your title is the part of your question people will see when they’re scrolling down PokeBase’s front page. Use it to cleanly summarise your question and leave the best impression, so people will see it and want to answer it. Here are some guidelines you can follow:

  • Make your title one flowing sentence that contains a question. Don’t remove words or write fragmented sentences like ‘Nimbasa City Xtransciever location’ when you could say, for example, ‘Where is Yancy’s Xtransciever in Nimbasa City?’ instead.
  • Be specific. Your title should narrow down your question and not leave details open for us to guess. For example, ‘Venusaur or Ferrothorn?’ is ambiguous, but ‘Which of Venusaur and Ferrothorn is a better wall for Battle Stadium Singles?’ is helpful and separates your post from others. Similarly, ‘Why did this happen?’ says nothing about your question, but ‘Why did Urshifu’s Wicked Blow pass through Protect?’ is very descriptive.
  • Summarise your issue. Save the explanation for the description. For example, ‘I only have one Earthquake TM and I can’t get another one; should I teach it to Garchomp or Lucario for my Platinum playthrough?’ is too long for a question title. The second half is sufficient for the title.
  • Don’t add headings or tags to your title – work them into the sentence instead. Instead of ‘[OR/AS] Best Pokémon to beat Flannery?’ say ‘What are the best Pokémon to beat Flannery in OR/AS?’
  • Use proper grammar and type in sentence case. Don’t use all caps and don’t capitalise the first letter of every word (your question is not the title of a movie). Take care to spell correctly.
  • Don’t put silliness like ‘Please help!!!’ and ‘Answer fast!!!’ in your question titles (or anywhere for that matter) – it only distracts from your real issue. Use more specific language than ‘thing’ and ‘stuff’.

Experienced members of the community can edit your questions to improve their titles (among other things), but it’s obviously better if you choose a good title to begin with.

Help us help you

When people take the time to flesh out their question and explain their problem, it’s a lot easier for us to make a helpful answer. Give any context possible in your question description.

There is always something that prompted you to ask your question – maybe something you read, something you tried that didn’t work, something you’re not sure how to do, etc. Whatever it may be, it’s a good idea to explain it. Knowing the reason behind the question will help people write helpful answers. Here are some other topics you could touch upon in your question description:

  • What do you already know?
  • What are you trying to achieve? What can you use the information for?
  • What have you already tried, and what went wrong?
  • What made you interested in the topic?
  • What could a potential answerer want/need to know about your issue?

In addition to being nice to read, explaining what you’ll use the information for is a smart way to sound relatable and get people ‘on your side’. If others can see where you’re coming from, they’ll be more likely to up-vote your question and put effort into answering it.

Include enough detail in your post to avoid getting an answer that says, ‘it depends'. Your question could receive many varying responses based upon which game you’re playing, which battle format you’re playing, what move you tried to use, how far into the playthrough you are, etc. Pretend that you’re somebody else trying to answer the question. Is it obvious what’s being asked? Is there more info that could help direct an answer? Fill in the gaps so others won’t have to ask you about them later.

Be mindful of vague expressions in your questions. For example, if you’re asking whether something is ‘good’ or ‘worth it’ or ‘the best’, then be sure to give criteria for what that means from your perspective – ‘good’ for what purpose? If your question is really unclear, then it might be removed outright.

Present your question nicely

Nobody expects perfect spelling and grammar, but at least write using real English sentences and paragraphs. Use formatting tastefully – you don’t need to bold and italicise your entire post. Write intelligently – avoid netspeak like ‘pls’ and try to keep a relatively mature tone. You don’t have to be boring; carefully written posts can be funny and stylish, but that shouldn’t come at the cost of clarity.

If your post concerns little-known game mechanics or uses jargon, it’s good to include short explanations or links throughout your post. Other people could learn from your question too.

Add useful tags

Tags are used by the website to help people find the post they’re looking for, and they can narrow down questions in areas like the game being played, the battle format used, etc. Because of this, it’s important to give tags at least a little bit of thought, and not just pass them over as an inconvenience.

Choose keywords and nouns from your question that will help identify it and sort it into categories. For example, if I’m asking whether Foul Play is a good move for Krookodile in my Black/White playthrough, I might use the tags krookodile, black-white, gen-5, in-game, and foul-play. (You may not have enough points to create new tags, but if you do, you can simply type them in to create them.)

Follow up when you receive replies

Keep an eye on your post in the days and hours after you submit it. It’s likely that you’ll be asked to clarify something in the comments, or there’ll be something else you wish to follow up on. Naturally, a timely response to these messages will increase your chance of getting a good answer.

As the author of a question, you have the power to choose its ‘best answer’, which gets pinned to the top of the list of answers and awards its writer twenty points. If you’re totally satisfied that your post is resolved, be sure to choose the best answer by clicking the green checkmark in the top-right corner of the post. You’ll receive two points of your own for doing this.

Remember to be a good participant on the website. If somebody wrote an answer that doesn’t help you, then kindly explain why. The person might still be able to help you.

by
6 votes

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.

Index

  1. Including the required details (rule 2.1)
  2. Teambuilding 101 (rule 2.2)
  3. Advice for writing high-quality RMT posts
  4. Example RMT posts

Including the required details

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 play it in "Anything Goes" or "National Dex AG", because that's where it seems to fit best. If this is you, don't post your team; use the resources in this post 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

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.
  • Metagame discussion thread (example), which lets you see other people talk about the metagame. This is a quick way to find out if you're out of your depth.
  • 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 you can use until you are confident building your own team. Samples can give you some pointers for structure and how Pokemon synergise.
  • Usage statistics (root directory), which give an unopinionated view of what Pokemon and strategies are popular -- especially the moveset/ directories.
  • 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 we can be critical of your reasoning, not just the moveset at face value. It also helps us preserve the goals of your team. It also exposes your level of knowledge (which is a good thing, if you're willing to drop your ego and learn).

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. (For example, don't write "Roost for healing, Swords Dance for setup".) Anybody worth your time listening to already knows about that. 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. Addressing these things is a good idea before you ask for an external opinion.

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 on specific areas. 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]
Ability: [Ability]
EVs: [#] [Stat] / [#] [Stat] / ...
[Nature] Nature
- [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).

Examples

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.

by
edited by
If you would be able to link some examples of well-written RMT's, the new users might benefit from that. For instance, I love the way you've written your RMTs, they're extremely concise and explain the thought process well.
Will add some examples after the new rules get rolled out, so we can specifically pick a few that suit the rules well.
Oh cool!
There are 2 small things I want to add to this post.
In the "test your team first" section, say something about how you should test on Showdown!, so it's easier to fix the team when you notice problems.
In the "explaining your thought process" section, say something about how if you don't know what to write for a Pokemon, test your team some more. If you already tested the team and still don't know what to write, replace it with a different Pokemon and test the team again.
Rather than asking them to totally remove a Pokémon, helpful prompts can be added which can help the poster to actually get those description lines. Something like "why did you choose it", "what do those moves do", "explain the EVs, nature etc.", "role in the team", and so on.
Testing is an issue but not a *huge* one, especially for good enough players. I myself did only ~six battles before posting my ORAS AG RMT, and afterwards did ~sixty even when it didn't have a ladder. This rule does need to be strictly enforced, but not like "keep testing unless you find four lines for a mon".
I will write some examples of RMTs that are well-written and structured, and RMTs that are not very good. I don't want to point at somebody's RMT as an example in this post (and I actually don't really like my old RMTs lol). I'll take some time to do that in the next week.
E: uni makes things hard, I will do this when I have time to burn
Example posts finished. Good example goes up in 20 minutes because RMT has a two thread/hour limit.