Beginners Guide to Smogon

Beginners Guide to Smogon

Smogon. The most popular singles format in Pokemon that attracts thousands of players every day. So what is it? How does it work? Over the next few blog posts, I’ll be going into detail as to how Smogon works, how to build teams for the format and ways you can improve your battling skills.

So what is it?

Smogon is an unofficial battle format for the pokemon games. Where VGC is a double battle format decided by the Pokemon company every year, the main difference is that Smogon is a singles based format where the pokemon you use are split up into tiers. These tiers are typically decided on by the community through various means such as usage percentage, suspect tests, and community feedback. Each tier will typically have a council as well which typically tries to balance the tiers they run by managing suspect tests to see how a good Pokemon is or banning Pokemon that are causing issues within the tier (though these Pokemon are typically tested back into the format later on). The council will always decide things through a vote though in order to make things fair.

So what are the tiers?

As I stated before, Smogon operates on a tier system. Depending on what tier you want to play in you are limited to the pokemon within that tier and any tier below. The tiers are as follows:

  • Ubers – Ubers is the best of the best tier. Any pokemon can be used in this tier and most of the time, this tier is mainly used as a ban list for OU, the most commonly played tier. You’ll be finding practically all your legendaries here.
  • OU – OU or Over Used is the most popular meta by far. In this tier, you can use practically any Pokemon that hasn’t been banned to Ubers making this a fairly fun tier to play in/
  • UU – The next tier down is UU or Under Used. This tier is for Pokemon not as often played as the Pokemon in OU.
  • RU – RU, also known as Rarely Used, is the tier below UU and is for Pokemon that often don’t see the light of day buy have their cool niche in this tier. RU and NU are some of the most fun tiers to play as you are limited to what Pokemon you can bring and nothing is really that overpowered.
  • NU – The final Tier is NU or Never Used. This tier is for Pokemon that aren’t really shown any love and just don’t perform as well as the Pokemon in the higher tiers.

So what’s next?

Over the next two blog posts, I will be talking team building, focusing on three key points: Type cores, team strategies.

I hope this small blog post was somewhat useful! Let me know if there is anything else you would like to know about Smogon and I’ll be sure to make a blog post about it


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