Getting into competitive Pokémon isn’t as hard as you might think if you know the right places to look when trying to find advice on the current meta, strategies, and team building.
There are tons of amazing resources out there like the Smogon competitive battling forums and the Pokémon Showdown team builder and damage calculator, but sometimes you just need to listen to someone explain why a certain Pokémon is a good fit for specific situations.
To see those Pokémon in action, you will need to find someone who can showcase different teams and highlight those individual mons so that you can properly build around their strengths and cover their weaknesses. And for that reason, here is a compiled list of some of the best competitive team builders you can watch and study to get better at competing yourself.
Wolfe “Wolfey” Glick
Wolfey is a former Pokémon World Champion in the VGC Masters division and continues to play the game at the highest level possible. With nearly a decade of experience competing at Worlds, he is probably the most qualified player on any platform to help you get better at the game.
Just recently, Wolfey has really stepped up his content production cycle, pumping out up to three videos per day at times, and almost all of them are themed around VGC or overall competitive Pokémon.
Along with his usual guides on how to use individual Pokémon and his occasional videos where he brings in other people to teach them how to play live, he has also just started a series of full lectures about the structure of the competitive scene. This series called “Pokémon Academy” has only just begun, but the first lecture is an overall introduction to the world of competitive Pokémon that breaks down most of the more complicated aspects to be more digestible to newcomers.
If you really don’t know the basics, you should start there before anything else and then work up to the more serious guides about specific Pokémon that you can then work into your team building strategy. You can also watch him break things down live during his live streams on Twitch if that is more your style.
If you already have a strong grasp of the competitive scene, you can head over to PokeaimMD’s channel and start watching all of his breakdowns that really give you a look at the other side of the community.
While VGC is a double battle format that is officially endorsed by Nintendo and The Pokémon Company, Smogon is a fan-run community that breaks things up into tiers based on usage and focuses on single battles. Joey excels at this format and is one of the foremost experts on the tier rankings and how each Pokémon can fit into the perfect role for each tier’s unique meta.
Joey tends to do two videos at a time, touching on the specific strengths of each Pokémon and showing multiple optimal movesets that can slot into several team compositions. Then he transitions to playing matches with a focus on teams revolving around the specified Pokémon, which allows viewers to easily see what works and what doesn’t matchup wise.
His Showdown live sessions usually involve less individual breakdowns and more of a conversational discussion about various strategies and Pokémon between his friends and Twitch chat. If you ever want to see how someone can seamlessly throw together a team after playing hours in the same meta, just tune in while he is getting things prepared.
He also has his own version of an early, end-all-be-all guide for competitive Sword and Shield that you can watch alongside Wolfey’s to get a full lesson on both parts of the competitive community.
Aaron “Cybertron” Zheng
Like Wolfey, Cybertron is a top level player with upwards of a decade of experience in the scene, although, his approach to covering the game is much more straightforward than his fellow Panda Global rep.
Cybertron takes a page out of Joey’s book and explains his decisions on the fly as he plays competitive Pokémon and works his way up the ranked ladder. So if you want to see someone that focuses primarily on the practical application of a team without much setup, he’s your man.
His “Road To Ranked” series is a daily look at different team compositions while he battles and explains just how he came to certain decisions about moves or specific Pokémon on his team. It is a nice change of pace from Joey’s much more analytical breakdowns and Wolfey’s heavy explanations.
Cybertron’s content has a unique flavor and fits well as a complementary piece to both Joey and Wolfey’s deep dives.
And by watching these listed creators, you should be able to expand your search deeper into the competitive community as you continue to delve deeper and get better at battling.