By Locoghoul

Hello, we have all wished we were Gym Leaders at some point, haven’t we? You probably have a favorite type and collect a lot of Pokemon of that type. Well, if you are one of the many trainers interested in creating a team based on your favorite type, then Monotype is a metagame you might want to look into.

Monotype is a format in which all six Pokemon on your team share one type. There are no wildcards allowed, and depending on where you are playing there are additional rules regarding Mega evolution typing. This article will try to cover some basics and give a quick overview of the most used types in Mono. At PRL we host auditions to choose for new Gym Leaders on a seasonal basis. Hopefully you can use this information to build a unique team of your own!

First of all, in order for you to start building your own team, you need to realize that the best types are the ones that have a wider pool of useful pokemon. Typically these types can be successful with different team archetypes and have great defensive and offensive cores. Some types, due to limited pokemon availability or because of poor options, are only capable of playing in a certain style.

I’ll give you a quick overview on the most used types and the archetypes you can use with them. In the coming months, we at PRL will be using this blog as a forum to post guides to each type; for now, a quick gloss will suffice…

Psychic: The best type right now. Can run stall, balanced and offensive spreads pretty well, although a balanced team is probably the best option at the moment. Very well rounded.

Flying: Close second. It also has access to a great diversity of Pokemon due to flying nearly always being paired with another type. It is most effective running balanced and offensive teams.

Water: A favorite of many, water has the largest pool of Pokemon from which to choose. Unsurprisingly, it can run stall, balance and offense (especially rain offense) very well. Lots of options here.

Fighting: Most effectively used as an offensive type. Doesn’t have as much variety as the previous types but has plenty of offensive options to make an effective team.

Dragon: Surprisingly good because of its resistances and great offensive stats. Not a lot of variety, most Pokemon fill a specific role and there is not much to choose from but its typical build works very well as a hyper offensive team.

The above mentioned types are more user friendly when it comes to team building and should be easier to use than others. On the other spectrum the least used types are as follows:

Electric: Electric can run a successful balance team but it struggles versus Dragons and specially bulky mons in general, such as Chansey, Umbreon, Goodra, etc. It lacks a good physical attacker and often times a physical Thundurus-I (or mixed) is needed to make it work.  

Poison: Similar to Electric, Poison can only run balance but Poison has less viable Pokemon to choose from. It really struggles against defensive teams since it lacks good wallbreakers.

Ghost: Ghost is typically used as balance or semi stall. But to be honest, the ubiquity of Knock Off in the meta makes this type really hard to play. It also doesn’t have much variety to choose from and lacks switch-ins to powerful special attackers such as M-Gardevoir or Thundurus-I.

Ice: Poor Ice types have one of the worst defensive typings, with four common weaknesses and only a lone resistance to themselves. The only thing Ice can run is offense because Ice offensively is a good attacking type and has a few mons with nice dual typing like Weavile and Kyurem-B. However, ice types are often glass cannons, meaning they rely heavily on their offensive stats and moves to win. Just remember you must apply constant offensive pressure or you will lose.

Rock: Like Ice, Rock is also better for offense since its typing is easily exploitable. The standard Sticky Web offense is a good team to start with but should still be careful if there is a Scizor or a Keldeo on the opposing team.

Now that we have reviewed a few archetypes, I will guide you through building a team based on what we know so far. For example, monofighting is a good offensive type but it struggles if you were to use a balanced or a stall team using fighting Pokemon. Despite having great Pokemon, it just doesn’t have the right resistances or defensive stats to pull it off. However, it possesses everything you need to build a really good offensive team. Note that you can always build how you want, but this guide will point at you how to maximize the effectiveness of each type. Building a stall fighting team, for example will result on a subpar team.

Second of all, once you decide on a team archetype for your favorite type, you need to choose Pokemon that will fill certain roles in your team. Even though you are using a team with all members sharing one type, you can’t just spam a bunch of your favorite pokemon together. You need to find what your teams need and how to check offensive threats. Continuing with the example above, let’s pretend we are building a hyper offensive fighting (HO) team. Since it is HO, we don’t really need walls but we definitely need one support pokemon that may act as a bulky pivot or rock setter or both. Most, if not all offensive teams really appreciate the presence of Stealth Rock and hazards in general. It helps them getting OHKOs rather than 2HKOs or relying on high roll damage. Only a few viable fighting pokemon learn Stealth Rock; among them we have Terrakion, Cobalion and Infernape. Terrakion is a great pokemon but we don’t really want him to be the stealth rocker (more on this later), so we are left with Cobalion and Infernape. Both have the same speed and both could be decent leads. We will come back to see which one fits better after we go through other roles.

We now need a special attacker, a physical threat and possibly a scarfer. The purpose of having attackers on both sides of the spectrum is to force switches and not to be walled by one pokemon, like Skarmory. Remember we are using HO, so switching is very limited and most of our pokemon don’t have the bulk to take hits repeatedly. So, the way to counter stuff is to play aggressively, control the momentum, sacrifice stuff (sac) and revenge kill. Let’s look at the special attackers fighting has: Keldeo, Infernape (can be mixed), Lucario (can be mixed), Cobalion (can be mixed), Virizion (can be mixed) and Poliwrath. Right from the bat we are going to discard Poliwrath as its stats are just underwhelming. Moreover, it is completely outclassed by Keldeo who does almost everything Poliwrath does but better. Since Fighting have a lot of physical options, it is better to just stick to one or two special attackers at the most since Fighting will typically have better options on the physical side. We will pick Keldeo as our special attacker because it has great coverage with just its STABs, his great speed tier and his ability to muscle through special walls using Secret Sword. Notice that Cobalion and Virizion are not great options because they need to boost to do significant damage. Lucario is a decent option but it lacks good speed to fit in our HO team. A Nasty Plot set could be used but it will have a hard time finding an opportunity to set up with those defenses.

Now on the physical side we want a combination that will break walls aka hit really hard and a cleaner that will finish the job late game. For wallbreakers we could use either a banded pokemon like Heracross or Terrakion or we could use a Mega such as Mega Gallade or Mega Medicham. Both are good megas to use, however we are going to choose Mega Medicham because it fits with our role better, it hits like a nuke, has priority and can help versus fairies in a pinch better (Fake Out + Bullet Punch). If you decide to use Mega Gallade, notice that it is used in a different way, it is meant to use as a set up sweeper instead. So, you will need a wallbreaker to pair with it. Again, both choices are acceptable but we are just going with Mega Medicham for our team. Now that we have locked our Mega and our wallbreaker, let’s think of potential cleaners for our team. Remember we want something fast that will hit hard enough to not fail to KO once the opponent’s pokemon are weakened. Decent options are scarf Keldeo, scarf Terrakion, SD Hawlucha or SD Breloom. Although scarf Keldeo is not a bad option, we are using it in our team to nuke on the special side so a Specs set will work better for our purposes. SD Breloom is a great pokemon, however it is very slow and its priority move, while strong, can be resisted easily by many types we are trying to overcome. Instead, we are going to choose scarf Terrakion because it helps us greatly versus +1 pokemon that sit on the 100 speed tier such as Charizard X, scarf/DD Salamence, scarf Staraptor, scarf Jirachi and anything slower like +1 Dragonite. It also gives us an offensive check to fast Flying pokemon that could potentially sweep our team like M-Pidgeot, scarf Togekiss, scarf Staraptor, Talonflame, Tornadus-T, etc.

So far we have a special attacker (Specs Keldeo), a physical threat (Mega Medicham) and revenge killer/cleaner (scarf Terrakion). What we are looking for now is a set up sweeper in case the opportunity arises. This will be our primary win condition (wincon), scarf Terrakion being our second wincon in case everything is weakened enough. For this set up sweeper we need something that will have good coverage and will have the speed to potentially sweep the opposing team. As options we have SD Lucario, SD Hawlucha, SD Toxicroak, SD Breloom and Nasty Plot/SD Infernape. Infernape doesn’t really work well as set up sweeper because it unfortunately lacks the coverage necessary to sweep consistently. A lot of common pokemon will wall him or resist its priority moves (like Latios or Slowbro). Infernape is better used as a mixed attacker hitting from both ends. SD Lucario could work really well but again it is hard to find a moment to set up with him and not get status or crippled by a hard hitting move. You can consider him but be aware of its limitations. A +2 Close Combat will go through almost anything unresisted though. For this team we will use Hawlucha since its speed tier is greatly appreciated and its STABs also give great coverage. Notice that before activating Unburden its checks must be weakened (like Zapdos), otherwise its sweep will be stopped.

This is where we go back to our stealth rocker. Remember we had the choice of Infernape or Cobalion. If you look at our team the steel typing Cobalion has will come in handy to take unboosted Psychics, Flying type attacks or weak Fairy attacks. A bulky spread with speed investment can guarantee Stealth Rocks will be on the field. Additionally, it has great moves like Volt Switch, Taunt, Thunderwave, Flash Cannon, Iron Head, etc. This pokemon will be our defensive check to a lot of pokemon like Scarf Jirachi, Clefable, Mega Pinsir, Togekiss, etc. Even when it will be go down most of the times, paralyzing Jirachi or Tornadus-T can be huge for this offensive team.

To recap we have so far Lead/support Cobalion, specs Keldeo, scarf Terrakion, SD Hawlucha and Mega Medicham. The last slot can be used to give us better coverage and it is entirely up to you. Think about what could cause problems to Fighting (Psychic, Flying and Fairy) and if your team needs extra help against one of these. One common threat you will encounter is Azumarill. You need to have an answer to this pokemon or you will have a bad time since its strong priority compensates for its speed and its good typing allows it to wall and set up on many of your pokemon. If your sets don’t have something against him I’d recommend using either Sheer Force Poison Jab Conkeldurr (EVed to outspeed Azumarill) or Technician Breloom. Breloom will add some priority and help you versus Azumarill while Conkeldurr will give you a decent answer to slow, bulky fairies like Clefable or Azumarill.

So this is where our little tutorial on how to identify what works for a type and how to build based on it comes to an end. I hope you enjoyed it and learned something from it. Fighting type has plenty of options so this is by no means the only team you could use. Just remember to pair your role pokemon well, since you would still try to ideally open the field for one of your wincons.