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Strategy Guide: Advance Team Building

By: Lucavi

Building a solid team:
Advance is probable the generation with more variability in the GB/GBA history, so for a team to work properly, it needs to counter a wide range of things. This guide will help players to know what a good, solid team should always have

- Standard coverage:
Pretty much the biggest requirement for any adv team. Your team will need to have counters that can switch in AND damage the most standard Pokemon in advance. This is mostly a defensive aspect, but there are some ways to counter offense with offense (Salamence against Heracross, for example), meaning that your team doesn’t really need to be 100% defensive just because there are too many things to counter. A good advance team should have sure counters for the following Pokemon:

- Tyranitar
- Salamence
- Metagross
- Celebi
- Zapdos
- Raikou
- Swampert
- Milotic
- Suicune
- Heracross
- Gengar
- Snorlax
- Blissey
- Jirachi
- Dugtrio

This also includes similar Pokemon (Like Gyarados being similar to Salamence, or Medicham being similar to Heracross). Keep in mind that the most successful teams are usually composed by most of these Pokemon. It would be also nice if you had maybe a second backup counter for the sweepers (Tyranitar, Salamence and Heracross, mainly) because they’re so gamebreaking you may find your counter weakened at some times, and a secondary counter would help a lot in those situations.

- Stall breaking
For this to happen, you’ll need at least one heavy hitter in your team. This is a must, as you won’t want your matches to be too long. Remember that there are plenty of stalling teams out there, and you’ll need the power to break through the defenses they’ll use. A choice bander, coupled with good prediction on your side is ideal, and there are other specific things that are designed to break through stall. For example, most Tyranitars are excellent to beat defensive teams, specially the ones with 404 Hp, as they can make subs, unbreakable by Blissey’s seismic toss (A regular in stall teams), and because it can switch easily into Skarmory (Another regular). This way, you get a safe sub, and the ability to hurt the others member heavily. Don’t stick with these ways, though. Experiment and make your own ways too.

- Type resisting, and special moves coverage
Aside from covering the most standard Pokemon, you’ll need to resist types. This is very important, because there are specific moves which are really hard to beat, unless you have something that resists it typewise. Here’s a list with the types you should have something resistant too:

- Normal (Specially normal CB’ers like Tauros, Dodrio or Slaking)
- Water (Bulky waters like Milotic using Surf)
- Electric (Zapdos and Raikou being the most common ones)
- Ice (Ice beaming and Ice Punch)
- Ground (CB earthquakes)
- Rock (Tyranitar and Aerodactyl)
- Fighting (Really important for CB focus punches and brick breaks)
- Bug (Heracross)
- Steel (Metagross)
- Flying (Salamence)

The other types can be dangerous at some times, but they’ll need less coverage (Fire or Dragon, for instance, are attacking moves rarely used). Usually, you’ll find special walls can counter some special moves even if they don’t resist it typewise (Snorlax beats Raikou, even if it doesn’t resist thunderbolt, due to its high Special Defense and Hp). But, some other things, especially the physical moves (Rock and fighintg, more than anything) need to be resisted, or they’ll wreak havoc on your team
Other moves such as spikes need to be covered in another way: It’s never good to have 3 layers on your side, as any non flying/levitating Pokemon will take -25% damage. You’ll need either a rapid spinner which can blow away the spikes, or you can also make your team members damage the most common spikers (Skarmory, Forretress) with special moves (Fire blast Snorlax, for example). If most of your team is immune to spikes (Flying types or levitators) then you don’t need spike protection.
Finally, status inflicting moves are also another type of moves to counter. You may use a Pokemon that gets a boost by a status infliction (Heracross and other guts users), a Pokemon that automatically heals the status inflictions (Starmie, Celebi and other Natural curers), a Pokemon that can heal your whole team of status (Blissey or other aromatherapists), but the most safe workaround is to use a Pokemon that knows rest + sleep talk, as that will get rid of status, and will let you attack while asleep. Plus, it’s a great counter for sleeping moves like Hypnosis or Spore.

- Beating stat uppers
You’ll usually find a lot of things trying to stat up and sweep your team. To counter this, you’ll need something that can dissipate stat ups, by using either the move Haze or Roar/Whirlwind. However, you can also counter these by sending in a Pokemon that resists the stat upper’s move, without using any hazer. But, keep in mind that for some things like Ninjask or Baton pass Celebi, it’s preferably that you use some Hazer, as a Baton passer can be difficult you beat without any of those.

- Surprise Pokemon
Even though Advance is pretty standardized, some under used Pokemon can really cause a lot of problems to regular teams (Blaziken and Flygon, for example), so you should also be on alert for innovative teams that use uncommon Pokemon. Still, you’ll find that regular things can counter under used Pokemon, but keep in mind that most players build the teams to beat the Pokemon listed in the first point, so you can also use this concept in your favour: You could build a team consisting of some uncommon Pokemon to beat the unprepared teams. This is something that has been made for some time, and people are beginning to realize how important it is to use innovation as a gamebreak. This not only applies for Pokemon, but for movesets as well. You can use some unstandard moves and to beat the counters. It’s a nasty surprise when a Metagross uses Hidden power grass on a Swampert, or when a Zapdos uses a choice band drill peck to beat that Celebi. Standard moves are standard for a reason, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use your creativity to beat others. Go ahead and try it, there are more ways to make successful teams that what you’ll find in guides and such; you don’t need to stick to the standards.

- Conclusion
Building a successful, solid, stable team that you like is very hard to do. Quite some time can pass before you achieve this, and by then, you may have grown bored of it. This is probably caused by all the Pokemon there is to counter in advance, and because there are so many teams to face. A perfect team is probably inexistent, but a solid, reliable one is something you can create with some practice. Also keep in mind that DP is in the horizon and that team building will become much harder with the addition of so much new Pokemon, so you’d better get started for the new challenge that is awaiting!