I'm playing Pokemon Emerald, although this is generic to any pokemon game. My questions are really about two ways of picking Pokemon: How do I pick Pokemon, at all? I assume I should have some sort of strategy around ability types (eg. fire, electric) and weaknesses, and some sort of balance. How do I go about designing a basic party?

Given that I have already decided on, say, a psychic or stone Pokemon, my next question is: how do I pick between two similar-type Pokemon?

Let's say I have Ralts (psychic type), and now capture an Abra (psychic type). Both have different stats, moves, and evolutions; how do I decide which one to pick over the other? Do I look at moves? Weaknesses? Final evolutions?

  • 1
    Your question could be split in two separate question, for better understand and a better quality on the answers as well – Michel Apr 11 '12 at 16:59
  • Yes, I know. I already have a general answer for the first (see my other questions), so my focus is more the second question – ashes999 Apr 11 '12 at 17:28

As for types, I have found this for Diamond and Pearl, so I don't know how much this has changed. Here is a list of pokemon types with few weaknesses (it does rely on some pokemon having the right abilities).

No Weaknesses

1.Dark & Ghost - Still Vulnerable to the move Foresight and Scrappy ability.

2.Electric with Levitate

3.Dark & Poison with Levitate

4.Bug & Steel with Flash Fire

One Weakness

1.Electric (Ground)

2.Water & Dragon (Dragon)

3.Dark & Poison (Ground)

4.Normal (Fighting)

5.Normal & Ghost (Dark)

6.Bug & Steel (Fire)

7.Water & Ground (Grass)

As for choosing between similar type pokemon, players have different strategies when they do this. Some people choose pokemon with the best moves [which is a very relative term between players], others choose by type, or choose based on stat growth.

Then it depends what events you want to use your pokemon in. Because newer pokemon games have contests, special battle arenas, effort values to grow specific stats, and breeding, you may want to consider different types of strategies.

  • Ironically, the best game that taught me pokemon strategies was Pokemon Stadium 2 because it had the learning center to teach you how to use types and special abilities introduced in the gold, silver, & crystal editions. I wish their was something like that for the newer games. – user1207381 Apr 12 '12 at 2:37
  • I also realized another common way to get around pokemon with weaknesses. The move Skill Swap can remove the protective skill [Flash Fire and Levitate] and make them vulnerable to the type. There are also abilities and attacks that can change this skill to get rid of it. It is one of those abilities that isn't used often, but can really mess with a trainer who has never seen it before. – user1207381 Apr 13 '12 at 2:44

I can't speak for Emerald specifically, but when forming a team you want to essentially cover as many types as possible with as few weaknesses as possible. Look up charts to compare what type is good against what, combine that with looking up specific Pokemon in the types you decide to choose, and look at what moves they learn and what TMs you can teach them. Then try to cover the types you missed in a good combination with some of your chosen Pokemon.

As far as specific Pokemon within the same type go, you want to look at their stats pretty closely, and pair that up with your general playing style (straight out attack? status change them into submission then go for the kill? exhaust their moves with heals and high-hp? etc).

For Ralts vs Abra, look at their moves, what combinations of moves you can give them, their general stats, and whether you can easily get their final form (i.e. can you trade your kadabra, etc). Final evolution means nothing except for stats, since appearance won't win you battles, and remember to always remember each Pokemon's strengths and weaknesses. Have your belt remembered well enough that you can look at an enemy's Pokemon and instantly know which of yours will fight it most effectively.

Of course you can just get a fast, high-attack Pokemon and outlevel it so you can solo anyone you fight, but that takes the fun out of the game, right?

  • As to your last comment ... that's what makes it oh so much fun in subsequent play-throughts, when you just rock it :) – ashes999 Apr 11 '12 at 17:29

How is weaknesses even a question when you are choosing between two same-type pokemon. XD

1) Look at their Smogon tier here: http://www.smogon.com/dex/rs/pokemon

2) Check out the evolutions. Doing so for the example reveals ralts is much better than abra because it evolves into Gardevoir.

3) Look at their moveset on smogon or bulbapedia. I wont say the moveset matters much because any pokemon has at least one good moveset it can utilize.

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