My Approach to Team-Building in Pokemon Games

In our ongoing quest to be the very best, there are a number of ways one can approach the task of building a team of Pokemon worthy of earning all eight gym badges. Some love to hunt for Shiny Pokemon. Others add an extra layer of complexity by partaking in a Nuzlocke challenge. I…mostly do just enough to get through the story.

Here’s my approach to building a Pokemon team!

My starter

When it comes to choosing my first Pokemon, I tend to lean towards towards the water type. Water moves tend to serve me well throughout the story and I generally like the designs of the water type starters. In Pokemon Sword and Shield, I went with the adorable Sobble. Wish it stayed that cute for the duration of the campaign!

I don’t name my Pokemon

While I understand why players would want to name their Pokemon, I’ve always found it to be an unusual practice. Though I didn’t really play the games seriously until Pokemon X and Y, I remember watching the anime with my brother from time-to-time and most trainers didn’t give their Pokemon unique names. Ash always called Pikachu “Pikachu”. If he can get away with it, why can’t I?

I change my lineups constantly

I do not approach the campaign in Pokemon games with the intention of rolling with one team for the majority of the game. While I certainly develop favourites over time, I will constantly shift around my lineups in order to take advantage of new Pokemon I catch and to exploit type advantages against gym leaders. By the end of the game, my final lineup is usually comprised of the my starter, the legendary of that game, and four relatively new additions that may give me the edge in the final battle.

I generally use Pokemon that are new to me

From game-to-game, I don’t really use the same Pokemon. This is usually out of necessity. In most cases, I never see the same ones across multiple games, save for the common fodder. However, I do have a soft spot in my heart for Snorlax, and I’ll always make room on my squad for Snorlax.

I don’t build my teams with competitive play in mind

In recent times, I’ve partaken in a few battles on stream. However, competitive play hasn’t really been a focus. No clue which Pokemon and moves are meta-relevant. I don’t even have a full grasp on type advantage off the top of my head. Playing against others is a lot of fun, but I haven’t felt compelled to really go for it…yet.

What’s your approach to building a team in Pokemon games? Certainly, it has to be better than mine, right? Let me know in the comments!






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11 thoughts on “My Approach to Team-Building in Pokemon Games

  1. Kris P. December 10, 2019 / 7:51 AM

    I feel as if we’re opposites in most aspects of team-building, lol.

    Grass-types are my go-to starters, since Bulbasaur was my first love way back in the Red and Blue days (although technically I played Yellow first, but I digress). My general rule when it comes to building a team in a new region is to have all new Pokemon from the generation. I stick with one group, playing into the game that we’re all teammates and the “no one gets left behind” mentality. It’s probably also one of the biggest reasons as to why I nickname all my Pokemon.

    I forget when I started naming them regularly — around Gen. III, I think — but I always figured that we’re on this journey together and they all deserve individual names (being on several role-playing sites at the time with all sorts of characters probably contributed to this, too). I actually started out Sword with the idea of not naming anyone to better learn the Pokemon species’ names, but it was so weird that I found the closest Pokemon Center and name rater to rename everyone.

    Like yourself, I don’t really build teams for competitive battling, despite how much I enjoy battling. I have the team of Pokemon I like and, if we can be strategic and strong enough to win, all the better.

    This was fun! It’s interesting to see how different our approaches are with Pokemon.

    • Jett December 10, 2019 / 8:01 AM

      I think that the game’s open-ended approach is a testament to the franchise’s great design. It’s the same game, but it means so many things to different people. Even though I’m a Pokemon neanderthal, I always found it so cool seeing people like you and Rachel get incredibly deep into the game with your very specific approaches and encyclopedic knowledge.

      • Kris P. December 10, 2019 / 8:11 AM

        I think it’s what gives the Pokemon games so much replayability or, at the very least, the reason why people sink so much time into this games. At the moment, Rachel and I are very close to completing the Pokedexes in her Shield and my Sword files, and I can’t imagine slowing down on the game even after we do that.

        I know Rachel has a more specific formula when it comes to building her teams. It gives her teams great coverage typing-wise, making her a tough battler, but I tend to have a few tricks up my sleeve as well as a few years as a trainer on her, lol. We did a couple of battles and I just narrowly beat her 2 out of 3 times. I feel like you’re a bit more chaotic, picking and swapping out Pokemon here and there, and my methods are in between both of yours. It’s great to see how different people’s approaches are with Pokemon!

      • Jett December 10, 2019 / 8:40 AM

        Would love to see you duke it out on stream at some point! 🙂

      • Kris P. December 10, 2019 / 9:06 AM

        We’d love to do that as well, but the main issue we have is that we both played the games on our respective switch lites. If we can figure out a way to stream from those…

        Either that, or we just trade one of our teams onto the main switch.

      • Jett December 10, 2019 / 9:10 AM

        Don’t quote me on this, but I believe you can transfer save files from 1 switch to another locally through a microSD card. You would have to move it back to your Lite after, but I think that’s technically feasible.

      • Kris P. December 10, 2019 / 9:26 AM

        Oh, that’s a good idea! I’ll do more research on it when I get the chance. Don’t want to risk losing my save file, lol. But thank you!

  2. Jett December 10, 2019 / 9:57 AM

    Burner account with an all-Caterpie team is packing its bags and ready to move to the big Switch.

  3. Matt December 11, 2019 / 9:14 AM

    I just try to balance out the types of the Pokemon and the attacks I am going to give to them in order to cover as much ground as possible. That’s pretty much the only rule I follow. I also try to use only Pokémon I have never trained before, but sometimes I break that one when I see one of my favorite monsters wandering around the grass.

    • Jett December 11, 2019 / 9:19 AM

      Having a balanced move set does help! I’m with you on playing with Pokemon I’ve never trained before. It’s pretty easy to find new ones, as I only started with X and Y and I only play through the campaign once. As for making exceptions for favourites, rules are made to be broken 😉

      • Matt December 11, 2019 / 3:26 PM

        Oh, so you have got a pretty wide roster to choose from. That’s cool!

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