Part of the genius and success of Pokémon games are their replay value. Each playthrough of a Pokémon game allows you to use a brand new team of six Pokémon to battle with. While some of your personal favorites may reappear (looking at you, Nidoking), there are near infinite combinations of Pokémon to use in each of the different games. When playing through a Pokémon game, what’s your strategy for assembling your team?
One option is to just stick with one Pokémon. When I was in high school, my girlfriend had never played a Pokémon game. I lent her my copy of Pokémon FireRed alongside a Game Boy Advance, and she ended up beating the whole game with Blastoise. She liked using it because it was cute, and didn’t see the point in catching any other Pokémon. I’ve played through a game or two with just one team member, and while it’s fast, the experience can end up feeling hollow.
Some players will fully plan out their team beforehand. They’ll look up all possible encounters, and perfectly craft a Pokémon with all of the right moves. They typically make sure to cover weaknesses and make use of a Pokemon’s typing to help against the enemy. While your team may be amazing in battle, you might see your Pokémon less as friends and more as weapons, leading to a less personal feeling during your playthrough.
You might build your team on specific Pokémon alone. You may love using cute Pokémon, or cool dragon-types. Maybe all you care about are two or three certain Pokémon, and plan on filling in the cracks with whatever else is available. If you play like this, you probably don’t care about making a “good” team, and just want to have fun, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
The option I find myself doing is catching every new Pokémon I see and using them for a few battles. If they don’t seem useful or special to me, I’ll replace them with something new. Overtime, I’ll find the ones I want to keep, slowly developing a team. In doing so, I also build attachments to my favorites, and even though a better option may come along, I still find myself using the ones I’ve grown attached to. This mainly works when you’re unfamiliar with most of the Pokémon, but can still work for a second or third playthrough.
With the number of Pokémon in each game averaging somewhere between 150 and 400, there are near infinite ways to mix and match teams together. How do you decide which Pokémon to use? Do you carefully plan out your teams, or play it by ear? Let us know in a comment below, or join us on the Boss Rush Discord.
Image Source: Pokemon