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I'd like to talk about this question (10k only link, screenshots at bottom of post). Just realized (when I noticed a rep drop today) that it had been closed a while back and was just deleted.

But why? The close reason says too broad. But it wasn't too broad, clearly, because it had a not only valid but good answer. The question, for those who can't see is "What are some strategies in Pokemon to build a competitive party?"

Game mechanics in Pokemon, especially the fight mechanics, haven't changed a whole lot. And more importantly, general broad strategies like those that were being asked are definitely applicable to the whole series. Just like in most MMORPGs you can say for a dungeon you should have tanks, dps, and healers. And that's not only the level of the question, but the answer too. It even calls out the need for a tank!

The question had 30k views upon deletion. I'd hope at least some of those people found it helpful. It had an answer that was not too long, nor does it have too many possible answers (strategy still falls under good subjective, and as the fight mechanics really don't change that much, there aren't really version specific answers that are needed). It covered strategies applicable to every game in the series, defined and clarified terms while giving examples while not limiting the scope, and did so in the same manners in which you would learn good strategies for any game at a high level.

So, I'm looking for community consensus here (or really bringing attention to it, cause I'm not 10k and don't think I can vote to undelete). Is a question about high level strategy in Pokemon games too broad?

Screenshots of question:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

  • I would be able to argue that such a question would be too broad. That said, I find that often "too broad" accounts for the amount of effort that would be required to answer. I see questions closed as being to broad where I would easily be able to write up a guide to cover it, but I believe arqade is more directed at single-page answerable questions. I have seen users quote "there are a few answers posted" as a reason for being too broad, even though the same practice on Stack Exchange often makes an encountered problem far easier to solve. – user106385 Sep 29 '15 at 6:40
  • It is important to remember, however, that these issues are usually considered independently of things such as the amount of views a question has, or the amount of answers or votes. I'm not sure if its the "one rule to rule them all" approach, where were unwilling to risk opening the door to more questions of similar nature. – user106385 Sep 29 '15 at 6:43
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    I've added screenshots for those under 10k. – Robotnik Sep 29 '15 at 7:39
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    A strategy question could be too broad even on a single game,you have to provide specifics,and even then there are still so many variables which you can't account for without writing a super long question even if you did know what to look for. Or if there aren't enough specifics the answer would need to cover so many possible variables to fully answer the question. (that's why I like replays of specific games, often people don't know what to ask, or what info to give).That being said, even an 'incomplete' answer could be extremely useful to most people, perhaps not the specific case of op tho – Aequitas Oct 1 '15 at 5:47
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In general, I don't think we have a rule against strategy questions that span multiple games. However, in this specific case, I believed it was too broad. As I was one of the people that voted to delete, I thought I might explain my reasoning for doing so:

First, let's look at the question text:

What are some strategies in Pokemon to build a competitive party?

So, I've been playing Pokemon since the first generation was released in the US when I was maybe 9 years old. I've recently stated to get back into Pokemon, but the thing is my strategy is still the same one I had when I was 9, and as you can imagine, it's not very complex. But in discussions with people about the game, I continually find there are so many more levels (pun intended) to it than just grinding a few Pokemon I think look cool and who are the opposite type against whatever Gym I will be up against.

That's mostly background info, so let's skip to the questions proper:

What are some strategies in Pokemon to build a strong party (or parties)? and What aspects of the game should 9-year-old me have learned to be better and actually be able to beat my friends in duals?

This is very broad. There are many types of Pokemon battles spanning many different generations, battle formats and various degrees of official and unofficial rulesets. So, the questions that need to be asked in order to narrow the scope:

  • Which generation are you playing?
    • Each generation tweaks available movesets, stats, abilities, types and Pokemon. Some Pokemon get buffs that boost their viability, others lose key moves that make them useless when compared to other, Pokemon that may have the same or similar options.
    • Moves themselves change as well: in the effects they have or what they do. Weather effects used to last forever in Generation 5 and lower. In Generation 1, waking up from sleep took an entire 'turn', meaning a faster opponent could just put you back to sleep again without you getting a shot off.
  • What battle format are you aiming to play?
    • 6v6 Singles, 6v6 Doubles, 6v6 Triples
    • 3v3 Singles/'Bring 6 Pick 3' Singles (Flat Rules)
    • 4v4 Doubles/'Bring 6 Pick 4' Doubles (Flat Rules)
    • 6v6 Rotation, 6v6 Multi battle
  • By which ruleset are you playing?
    • In-game official: In Generation 6 there is 'Normal Rules', 'Flat Rules' and 'No Restrictions'.
      Note that this will also determine what level your Pokemon are restricted to, which is another thing to consider.
    • VGC - Official Competition format of the Pokemon Video Game Championships, organised by the Pokemon Company. Updated every year with new rules and allowed Pokemon. In Generation 6, this is Flat Rules Doubles (i.e. Bring 6, Pick 4, No duplicate items or Pokemon)
    • Smogon/Showdown Community - An unofficial fan community that maintains a tiering list for Pokemon (kinda like wrestling 'weight' tiering): AG, Uber, OU, UU, NU, LC etc. This list differs for each generation.
    • Other: Mono-Type (Gym Leader style), Themed teams, Specific community teams/competition playstyles (No Legendaries etc)
  • Are any items, Pokemon, Moves or abilities otherwise banned from play if not included in the rulesets above?
  • How much do you already know about setting up competitive Pokemon?
    • Inherent/Individual Values (IVs), Effort Values (EVs), Natures, Abilities, Hidden Abilities, Movesets, Egg/Hereditary Moves etc.

Each of these options brings it's own unique set of challenges, and a team that fares well in one type will not necessarily fare well in another. There is no 'one team' that will guarantee a win (well, VGC'15 excepted :/).

The currently highest-voted answer is very specific to 6v6 Singles, as it's an old Smogon guide, and doesn't address other build styles of teams for different formats. If this is what you aim to play competitively, then you lucked into an answer that addressed your specific case, but the question in it's current form is broad enough that the answer does not cover all the other formats or battle types. And nor should it, as that would be too broad.

In conclusion, I voted for deletion as strategies for competitive Pokemon parties will vary too much across Generations, battle formats and rulesets. If you edited the question to address some/all of the questions I've listed above, I would consider voting to undelete. As it currnetly stands, it fits the 'too broad' close reason.

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    I think you may have read too much into the word "competitive". By competitive I meant "how can I use more strategy than just being 10 levels above whatever Pokemon I'm facing?" not "how can I compete in tournament or organized play?" None of that was even a little bit the goal of my question. That's why I mention friends, not tournaments, and why I call myself out as last knowing things from when I was 9. Think of it like an ELI5. Basically, the answer answered exactly what I was looking for because it elevated my play in "regular" games above what a power-leveling 9 old would know. – LoveAndCoding Sep 30 '15 at 5:32
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    And maybe that's what needed clarifying. But that's not what was called out as a close vote reason. I'd be happy to clarify that I'm looking for what strategies exist for the regular game as in strategies for doing things like battling gyms and the elite four, and not just relying on having two (or more) level 90+ Pokemon. That's the strategy level I'm looking for. And that's exactly what the answer provided me. It taught me ways to look at Pokemon that 9 year old me had not even considered (I didn't know what a tank was other than a big green thing at 9). – LoveAndCoding Sep 30 '15 at 5:34
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    @Ktash - I'm using the word 'competitve' as intended. However by the sounds of it the term you're describing is simply just 'Multiplayer battling', or 'Casual Multiplayer', which is cool, because that means that yes, we can start further back than the nitty-gritty of competitive information. If you're only looking for information from a casual perspective, then answers can focus on the top-level things, like levels, stat distributions, typing and pairing. But again, this info will depend on the types of battles you are doing and the generation that you're playing in. – Robotnik Sep 30 '15 at 5:48
  • I'd also like to reiterate again that I have nothing against the current answer - if you're only looking for information about a particular style of battle (6v6 Singles) then it's a good start to casual multiplayer battling at that level. – Robotnik Sep 30 '15 at 5:49
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In addition to Robotnik's very detailed answer, the question is not a good fit for the Q&A format of the site:

To prevent your question from being flagged and possibly removed, avoid asking subjective questions where …

  • every answer is equally valid: “What’s your favorite ______?”

There are a number of valid strategies, even if you are focused on one type of game play.

When determining which answer is correct is based on opinion, the question is not a good fit.

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    There is a difference between good subjective and bad subjective. Strategy questions tend to be of the good subjective variety, and much more than a "what is your favorite" question. Strategy questions encourage expertise, which is exactly what the Stack Exchange network seeks to provide. As such, strategy questions are usually considered to be on-topic and a good fit for the site. – Unionhawk Oct 7 '15 at 22:48
  • @Unionhawk With Pokemon this is obviously not the case as there are multiple, valid strategies for raising Pokemon which come down to play style primarily. It is similar to asking "What is a good opening Terran strategy for StarCraft?" There are many opening strategies, all of which have advantages and disadvantages which cannot be easily quantified, even if you limit it to one team size (1v1 through 4v4) and one race setup. – Trisped Oct 8 '15 at 0:13
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    I suggest you familiarize yourself with the concept of good subjective, and with our stance on strategy questions before you restate your point again. – Unionhawk Oct 8 '15 at 0:23
  • @Unionhawk I suggest you familiarize your self with the SE rules as meta does not supper seed site rules. Just because many think it is OK to break the rules does not mean it is OK. This is one of the reasons they started the documentation project, it provides a place for content which is wanted/desired but does not fit into the Q&A format of SE. – Trisped Oct 8 '15 at 17:06

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