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Old July 25th, 2017 (4:13 PM). Edited March 1st, 2018 by wolf.
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Guidelines & Resources
General Guidelines

・For submitting events and groups, look at the Events & Groups Approval thread instead.
・Don't make a new thread regarding a topic that has been posted in the last thirty days.
・Don't make a thread that could better serve its function as a post in a preexisting thread.
・Don't make team-building suggestions that deviate from the team's purpose. For instance, if a team is built around a certain Arceus forme, replacing the Arceus forme would be too drastic of a change.
・Don't point out flaws in a team without fixing them. Explain your rates and make sure they fix the team's problems.
・If you're playing on a cartridge, we allow the use of hacked Pokémon that are legitimate. Illegal Pokémon (e.g. Pokémon with modified base stats or movepools) are banned.

Team-Building Threads

・The Competitive Pokémon forum is for PvP (Player versus Player) teams, whereas the Main Series forums are for PvE (Player versus Environment) aka in-game teams. However, PvE teams that are also competitive, such as those for the Battle Tree, Battle Frontier, and so on, may be posted in the Competitive Pokémon forum too.
RMTs are only for complete teams, which usually means six Pokémon. Some minor details can be missing, such as an item or move, but majority of the team should be finished.
Help Me Start threads are for the beginning stages of team building. For example, you're new to a format such as SM OU, and you want suggestions on how to begin building an offensive team. Or you have one Pokémon, and you don't know what teammates it should have.
Help Me Finish threads are for teams that already have a core of two or more Pokémon and need to be finished. Additionally, teams that are missing one or two Pokémon follow under this category.
・Specify what metagame (e.g. SM OU and Battle Spot Singles) the team is for at the beginning of your post or in the thread title.
・Use a readable format such as the one below:
Pokémon @ Item
Ability:
EVs:
Nature
- Move 1
- Move 2
- Move 3
- Move 4
・If the thread is an RMT or a Help Me Finish thread, it's strongly encouraged that you add a description, even if it's just a sentence, of the role of each Pokémon in your team. For example, a good description for a Swords Dance Arceus-Normal would be "This Pokémon is my late-game cleaner. Its Normal typing gives it switch-in opportunities on predicted Ghost-type moves, such as Moongeist Beam from Lunala, and it's able to use its strong priority move to pick off weakened threats and its coverage to threaten most of the tier." This makes the rater's job easier and shows that you have put thought into the creation of your team.
・If the thread is an RMT, try to test your team before posting. RMTs are for fixing flaws in teams that you might not have noticed. Teams that have evidently not been sufficiently tested will result in a locked thread.

Battle Scheduling

・Once the event is underway, you are expected to log on PC at least once every day and respond to your opponent during that time.
・Visitor/profile messages must be used for scheduling. Scheduling through private messages, the battle server, or Discord should be avoided, because the event host will have difficulty in tracking your activity and you'll have to post screenshots when you have to prove that you tried scheduling the battle.
・When sending the initial message, offer time frames that work for you and preferably mention your time zone. If no times work and all possible options have been exhausted, contact the event host immediately.
・Schedule a specific time and date. 7:30 PM is specific, whereas between 7 and 8 PM or "any time during the evening" is not specific.
・If your opponent isn't there at the scheduled time, try to wait 15-30 minutes.
・Post in the event thread to keep the host updated on how the scheduling is going.
・Depending on the event, you may have to post your battle replay. On Pokémon Showdown, click the "Upload and share replay" button once the battle is finished and copy the link.
・Don't ghost. This includes messaging them during a battle with suggestions ("I would switch to chomper here"). Those found to be ghosting run the risk of being banned from participating in events.
・If the event host isn't participating in their event, it's highly recommended that you submit your teams to them by private message prior to playing your match, as this allows for matches to be recreated in the event of a disconnection.
・In the event of a disconnection where recreation isn't feasible, a replay may be awarded. Abusing this rule is punishable.

SM OU Team-Building Checklist

Does your team have...

・Stealth Rock?
・Some form of hazard control or some way of minimizing the effects of opposing entry hazards (e.g. Defog, Rapid Spin, and/or a grounded Poison-type for Toxic Spikes)?
・A way to handle status? Note that Scald and Lava Plume users such as Toxapex, Heatran, Keldeo, and Pelipper should be considered here.
・A way to force out or otherwise obstruct the most common and threatening Pokémon in the metagame? If your team is fast and fragile, be prepared for fast sweepers such as Tapu Koko, Ash Greninja, Mega Lopunny, Swift Swim users (e.g. Mega Swampert and Kingdra), Hawlucha, Mega Alakazam, and Sand Rush Excadrill. If your team is slow and bulky, be prepared for powerful wallbreakers such as Tapu Lele, Kartana, Tapu Bulu, Mega Charizard X/Y, Kyurem-Black, Mega Diancie, Mega Mawile, Mega Pinsir, Mega Medicham, Alolan Marowak, Manaphy, Hoopa-Unbound, and Bisharp.
・Methods of defeating common team archetypes such as hazard stacking, VoltTurn, Magnezone/Pursuit trapping, rain offense, Aurora Veil offense, Sticky Web offense, sand offense, and overload cores (e.g. Mega Pinsir and Autotomize Celesteela)?
・A plan against stall teams?
・A Choice Scarf user or multiple priority users to revenge kill or do damage in a pinch (be careful of Tapu Lele's Psychic Terrain)? Magearna, Zygarde, Volcarona, Mega Charizard X, Hawlucha, Celesteela, Dragonite, Mega Tyranitar, Gyarados, and Mew are some Speed boosting sweepers that should be prepared for.
・Ways of working around Taunt and other stallbreakers?
・A strategy that it tries to execute rather than a team that merely anticipates other strategies?
・One or more backup plans in case your strategy falls apart or has a bad match-up? Is your team flexible?

Resources

PKMN 101
Introduction To Competitive Battling
Smogon's Introduction To Competitive Pokémon
A Basic Guide to EVs, IVs and Natures
Introduction to Smogon's Tier System
Anti's Competitive Battling Tips: Team Building
Smogon's Strategy Pokédex
Pokémon Showdown's Damage Calculator
Usage Statistics
USUM OU Viability Rankings
USUM OU Role Compendium
SM OU Speed Tiers
Team Weakness Finder - Break My Team
SM OU Sample Teams
USUM OU Cores
How to Battle and Win
The Art of Psychological Warfare
UnderUsed 201: Battling
Taking Advantage of Team Preview
Sun and Moon Breeding Guide
Competitive Dictionary
Gen 4 Compiled Guides
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