Teams 101 by NMW
Teams is an underappreciated and underdeveloped aspect of Melee. I consider myself a very good teams player, but it's only because the standard is so low. High level singles players often trip over each other because they haven't internalized the basics of teams. I can see dozens of things I do wrong every time I play teams, but I still know that my decisions are better than most people out there. In hope of raising the average level of skill in doubles, I wrote the following, rather lengthy, article covering the basics of teams. I hope to collaborate with some high level players to write a more advanced guide in the future. Stay tuned for a post featuring many GIFs illustrating the concepts covered.
Singles is about playing safe, being calculated until you get an opening, and then pushing your advantage as far as you can. In a sense, you could say the same is true for teams. But a more sensible description of teams is that it's a race to take your opponent's stocks as fast as possible. Thus, while singles at its core is about taking every hit as far as you can go, teams is about using your time to its maximum potential. In singles, time is not an important resource. You play the game at whatever pace feels appropriate. In teams, you must be as brutal as possible as fast as possible.
Most compositions have a fairly strong preference for which character should be in front and which should be in back. Try to maintain order. When your front line goes in, the backup follows him and improves on the team's collective positioning by being close behind the front, seizing whatever additional space the front player earned. If the front player loses the neutral, the back line goes in and tries to hold as much space as possible. Should he land a hit, he pushes the advantage. Should he do something unsafe, then a buffered roll away is likely the right option. One exchange is generally enough time for your front line to have regained his footing and to be ready to get back into action. If they are hit off stage, you should be prepared to give up more space than if he were just hit into a knockdown. The job of the support is basically to buy time until the carry is back on his feet. Don't cross up your partner unnecessarily. Switching between front line and backline should be a choreographed dance. If you are in the back and cross up your teammate, there should be a damn good reason to do it.
Regardless of stylistic differences, there are situations where pretty much every good teams player will agree about how each player should position themselves. Let's say there are teams X and Y. So in the neutral, the players will be arranged X X Y Y. I am a proponent of trying to stay together and force the other team off the stage. Other player's like SFAT will earn space by going in hard and making the situation XYXY. This can potentially earn you huge amounts of space and create decimating team combos on a sandwiched player. However, you have to be incredibly confident and precise to go in deep like SFAT. Depending on stage positioning, the X Y X Y situation can quickly lead to enormous advantages. But you must be aware that isolating yourself from your partner can be risky. If it becomes an X YY X situation, then the X players are separated, and YY is controlling center stage. Being the YY team gives you the freedom to choose which player to engage, to split into singles should it be advantageous, or to double team one person. This is the ideal situation for teams that have a zoning character. They push one player off stage, keep his partner walled out, and then ledge guard. On the other hand, if you are SFAT and you go in deep, you can turn the X Y X Y situation into an XYX 2v1 by hitting the support away. Y is boned. Another possibility is that you create a team sandwich and get XYYX, where the Y team has no space and can be pressured on both sides into oblivion.
Essentially, positioning yourself advantageously very often comes down to one of the following four situations. The most basic is that you and your partner move together, gain stage position, and push the opponents toward the ledge. The next most basic situations are the zoning one, where one team holds the center and keeps the other team separated, and the 2v1 sandwich, where you hit one player away and double team his partner. If you have a Peach, Sheik, Samus, or Marth, it is highly likely that you will be the one zoning out a character while your carry goes to town on his partner. If you are playing double fastfaller, it is more likely that you will use your speed to create the 2v1 sandwich. When playing fastfallers, your speed makes it easier to ditch the partner and go for a 2v1 across the stage. Still, if you are playing a team like Peach/Sheik, a 2v1 sandwich is as brutal as with double fastfallers. Downsmashing on both sides of a character is absurdly lethal. Then the last, most uncommon, yet highest reward situation of all if when you can get both players sandwiched within a small area and space attacks on both sides of them. This situation has the potential to melt both their stocks. PewPewU is a player who is extremely adept at recognizing when people are going to hold their shields, who then takes advantage of this by crossing them up and creating devastating sandwiches.
Risk/reward in teams:
The system is skewed dramatically from singles. If you are playing against a Marth, Falco, or Sheik in singles, it's not common to lose your stock before being able to regain positioning after overextending yourself. These characters do not have the benefit of being able to do their protracted followups in teams. In singles, laggy finishing moves are high risk, high reward. In teams, they are low risk, high reward. Throw out your finishing moves much more liberally. Watch how many rests HungryBox throws out when teaming with Plup. Whiffed rest is no big deal, hit rest is a kill. Even if you do get hit off stage, most easily ledge guardable characters in singles can make it back to the stage with a good partner.
Analysis of the top characters
Fox: The best carry. The only character that can really approach safely in teams. If Fox is the best and most challenging character in singles, it's pretty safe to say he's the best and even more challenging in teams. If you are a new Fox trying to play carry in teams, you are going to have to spend a long time trying to learn to space yourself safely. You can die in the blink of an eye, but he can bully people like no other. Shine gimps are crazy in teams, especially considering how undisciplined many people are about going off stage. His crazy speed and shinegrab make him amazing at getting grabs, which synergizes well with characters like Puff and Falcon who can get devastating punishes off of them. Fox's versatility is unmatched, so you can even play a supporting role, using just shine, bair, utilts, and occasional nairs. Also pretty good at saving partners with his up+b and dtilt.
Falco: A super underrated support. The skills that Falco players rely on to win singles do not help them in teams. His lasers are as good in teams as in singles, but for completely different reasons. He cannot control the neutral the same way he does in singles. But his lasers allow him to disrupt team combos, mess up ledge guards, and give your partner more chances to recover with their up+b. His shine is amazing both for team combos and for going deep to save teammates off stage. If you want to play Falco in teams, watch how European players or Zanguzen play him. Make yourself hard to hit by using his amazing bair and utilts. Falco is great in teams if you can play disciplined enough not to ever put yourself in bad situations. Falco is the only character who you can't ditch to go 2v1 his opponent. A Falco spamming lasers from across the stage is one of the most annoying things in doubles. Having access to having a spike that's super easy to land is also an amazing boon--people are MUCH more likely just to have continuous survival DI in teams because they know their teammates can help them.
Falcon: Can approach and play the front line if necessary. He's no Fox, but should you partner with a character that is known to be bad at approaching, you will probably want to be aggressor, or at least have a 50/50 partnership, where you alternate playing front lines. SilentSpectre and Darkrain are an example of a team that did an amazing job at both being equally proactive when teaming. Lovage and S2J have also shown that having both players be aggressive can be extremely potent. Falcon does not have to deal with the painful juggles or eternal hopeless attempts to recover in teams. On top of losing these weaknesses, his greatest strengths are having access to such strong punishes, and having the speed to get across the stage and place them anywhere. Falcon can run across a stage to get a lethal 2v1 better than any other character. It's almost kind of unfair--the best strategy for him is what a dumb 13 year old would do--run around a lot and throw out lots of knees.
Peach: Amazing at zoning, can quickly turn situations around with a dsmash, great at saving your partner, great at ledge guarding. Can float off stage to avoid 1v2 situations. Really bad vertical mobility can make it difficult for her to help teammates get out of team combos, as these are often done by carrying people up platforms. Recovery is also quite slow. A good stock tank. Whereas Falcon is good at running across the stage and getting a 2v1, Peach is good at keeping someone walled out while their partner is getting destroyed.
Sheik: Good at zoning, good at helping your teammate with needles and uair, wide variety of move choices for team combos, and controls the ledge like no other. Amazing gimp capability and great at wrapping up ledge guards without needing a partner to help her. She and Falcon both lose their tech chasing game but make up for it with their other strengths.
Puff: Presses down+b and kills people. Good at zoning, great at avoiding 1v2s. Can go deep off stage and get back, which is invaluable for getting safe ledge guards and for saving teammates with pound, uair, and dair. Synergizes well with characters who are good at getting grabs because grab+rest is amazing. Also synergizes well with characters who can avoid getting wrecked in 1v2s, which are sure to come up because of how often she gets hit away and has to slowly come back to the stage.
Fox/Falco: This is probably the only team where Falco can really thrive. His strengths are amazing for complementing Fox. Let the Fox do the approaching, and should the Fox hit someone toward the Falco, the Falco can probably get a big combo started. The team combos are great, and Falco makes it a giant pain in the ass to ledge guard Fox. The goal here is to make sure the Falco is comfortable and can maintain his stocks while making sure the Fox has enough offensive presence to gain advantages when possible.
Fox/Falcon: This team is fast. They pack a punch. Between shine, Fox's usmash, and knee, you have most of the best killing moves in the game on the fastest characters in the game. Use your mobility to your advantage. Take to the top platform when you are feeling scared. Grab combos are brutal. Ledge guards should generally end in one hit, with one of the attacks mentioned above as the coup de grace. You can choose to go to Yoshi's to smother opponents and get lightning fast kills, or you can go to Dreamland and abuse your mobility. This team is really versatile. If you play against double spacies, I would recommend the Falcon does not approach much. Against some characters, like Peach or Marth, Falcon approaching is not bad, but against double spacies, you really want to take advantage of his knee and his speed, not relying on his neutral game.
Fox/Peach: In the past, lots of people have said it's the best team. Fox is the best carry and Peach is an amazing support. Play to their strengths and it should be straight forward. Zone, ledge guard, and save your teammate with Peach. Hold the team positioning to let your Fox flourish. Peach's dsmash is also great for creating chaos when people get an opening on the Fox. When people think they can hit a Fox, they often try to push it really hard, which can result in them getting bad DI on a dsmash, or jumping into it on a platform. Peach's dsmash is also an amazing tool when people are playing around at the ledge. It can stage spike people, let your partner tech, or even hit him back toward center stage.
Fox/Puff: Similar to Fox/Peach, but with a little bit more kill power. Puff can go deeper off stage because instead of having float, she has a crap ton of jumps. Grab+rest is ridiculously good, and considering Fox's speed and shinegrab, he is as good at getting grabs as anyone else in the game. People also love to hold shields in teams because it's pretty safe. Getting a grab is usually not that threatening. If the Fox and the Puff are fast and on the same page, shielding can lead to a kill super fast. Rest is also amazing for punishing rolls, and Fox is the best character at pressuring people into rolls. People spam rolls in teams because they are often pretty safe, but rest makes them completely unsafe. This also means that, in the conventional team spacing where the carry is in front and the support behind, tech rolling into the stage means rolling into a rest.
Marth or Sheik/Fox: Decent teams that should be played similarly to Fox/Peach. The support zones out one player. Marth and Sheik both offer great control of the ledge, and they can get quick gimps. Between Sheik's deep ledge guards and Marth's dair, they can quickly devastate people near the ledge. If you want to learn to play these compositions, watch NorCal teams.
Falco/Falcon: Not the best team, but they do have a bunch of small tricks that give them good synergy. Falco's shine can lead into Falcon's ridiculous punishes. Lasers and shine are amazing for saving Falcon. They both have great vertical mobility to combo on platforms (though often Falco can just do his singles combos since no one can catch him up there). Falco lacks strong finishers, so teaming with Falcon helps compensate for that. Shine-->grab is a pretty free kill setup in a 2v1 because you either get a shine, a grab, or a roll. Falcon can cover the roll with a knee and react to the other two contingencies with a knee as well.
Marth or Sheik/Falcon: Falcon in general can play with most top tiers, but it relies strongly on being able to convert into knees off your partner's hits (e.g. Marth fair/utilt, Sheik ftilt, Falco shine, and so on). These teams need to stay really close and be really precise. If your teamwork is not on point, these compositions are garbage tier. Being able to target switch and space around your teammate is crucial. If you aren't willing to practicing spacing attacks right around your teammate, then don't play these teams.
Peach/Sheik: Probably the best team without a Fox. This team wants to stick together. They are hard as hell to approach. If you are a fastfaller and you lose the neutral, you are likely to eat ~80% within seconds. It's nightmarish to get sandwiched by these two. They can breakdance all over you by hitting down on both sticks. They make it incredibly hard to save your teammate because their off stage presence is so strong. They are both good at buying time to not get wrecked in the 1v2, which is a situation that is bound to come up since they are not the most mobile characters, and their recoveries can take a while. If you are an aspiring fastfallers player, Peach/Sheik is the team that's most likely to lead to some trauma.
Double floaties: Turns the teams meta upside down. Teams is a race to take stocks, but these guys' stocks are inherently harder to take. They live forever. If you are playing against them, you need to play super cautious and just win the neutral game almost every time. If you are the double floaties team, your goal is to stay alive long enough to get a brutal opening on your opponents. Ledge guarding is essentially free in teams. But you can't ledge guard these characters. HBox and Plup are the best team to watch if you want to play double floaty. Darrell and Darc also had an amazing run with the same composition--if you want to learn how Puff can shark for rests in teams, their games are a goldmine. MacD and Vanz also had a pretty entertaining Apex run. Peach/Peach is probably the only team that's stupid and annoying that can actually do decently.
Double Fox. Don't really want to talk about it. They are good at everything and their weakness is that they can get wrecked.
Common overarching strategies:
Double team the fastfaller. Falco, Fox, then Falcon, should be the preference, should there be more than one fastfaller on the team.
When facing double floaties, do a bunch of bairs or other safe moves when standing in the center of the stage and also from the top platform. Playing against double floaties is all about controlling center stage.
Team knockdown coverage. Not universally agreed upon, but the norm is usually that the person who does not get the knockdown does a strong move to cover the tech roll into them, and the person who gets the knockdown covers the other options. On platforms, you should cover all the options with your teammate every time. Whoever is closer to the center of the stage should cover the inward option, and whoever can get to the outside faster should cover that one. If you are going for reads in this situation, you are doing it wrong.
Wall out someone while you gangbang his partner. Sheik, Peach, Marth, Samus, possibly Puff, are all walling characters. This isn't to say that it doesn't apply with every character, just that those characters are better at doing that than they are at other things.
Ditch the opponent, even if you have an opening on him, and gangbang his partner. Fox and Falcon are the characters that are best at this.
List of common mistakes in teams and what to do instead:
Trying too hard to follow up, sometimes at the cost of the highly advantageous positioning you have gained. The solution is simple. Back off. Falling back, regrouping, maintaining cohesion with your partner is crucial. Sometimes you combo a Sheik to the ledge and it's time to call it a day. Don't waste precious time trying fruitlessly to scare her. Not every punish needs to end up in a kill. Forcing a player away from his partner is an amazing victory. Trying to punish one player too hard often results in neglecting doubles teams and free team ledge guards across the stage.
Not collapsing on your partner quickly enough. If your partner earns stage positioning, then you must move with them quickly. Otherwise, your partner can get double teamed, turning what should have been an advantage into a bad situation. Basically, see the positioning section again if you still don't understand why staying close to your partner is important.
Crowding your teammate. Stay out of the range of any hitboxes they are likely to use if they are in front. If you move too close to them, they will not be comfortable in throwing out moves because they know they could hit you. If they do not throw out a move, this means it's likely the opponent is going to beat them in the neutral and then hit both of you. Stay about a Falcon dashdance or Marth tipper fsmash range away.
Going for grabs in inappropriate situations. Don't go for grabs in 1v2 or in 2v2 when neither team is separated. Dashdance grab is the worst strategy in teams. Grabs are particularly bad for Sheik because her throws take so long. Getting a grab as Sheik basically opens yourself up to a free punish.
Improper move selection for team combos. While I've advocated throwing out your killing moves liberally in teams, when you have extended 2v1s, you want to use numerous mid to weak knockback moves, sending the opponent to your partner. Play ping pong with them. Try not to hit them too far past your partner. You want to keep them between the two of you. On FD, you want to use more horizontal moves because there is nowhere to escape to. On other stages, you may want to carry the opponent up the platforms to continue your combo. Your character's hitboxes, vertical mobility, etc. will obviously influence what moves you will use. Regardless of that, moves with lateral knockback are generally better for teams combos, whereas ones with vertical knockback are often preferred in singles.
Exposing one's self to 1v2 situations. Unless you are an amazing Fox player, or if you are S2J, you probably don't want to cross up the other team's front line often. Isolating yourself from your partner, ESPECIALLY if he is playing a slow, support character, generally has a bad risk/reward ratio. You are likely to get your stock evaporated.
Not capitalizing on 2v1s. Don't run away and try to hit the floaty at 150%. Watch Shroomed and SFAT play at NWM 2014. It's not worth chasing down supports. Annihilate fast fallers as fast as you can. Remember, time is your most valuable resource, and fastfallers die fastest. If you and your partner both get an opening, instead of both trying to get individual ledge guards, the fast character should run across the stage and close up a 2v1 ledge guard. Whoever is closer to the ledge should grab it, and the other person covers on stage recovery. If you have the freedom to choose who grabs the ledge, whoever has a more guaranteed killing move should cover the on stage option. 2v1 ledge guards are largely guaranteed. It's almost always better to take the guaranteed kill rather than being greedy and trying to get two.
Neglecting the importance of center stage (this goes for singles too, but is even more common in teams). If you lose stage positioning and are cornered/off stage in a 1v2, you are almost certainly doomed. Worse yet is that you obligate your partner to try to get you out of the bad situation that you put yourself into. This potentially leads to both of you cornered or off stage, and regaining your footing in these situations is like climbing a mountain. If both opponents are in position to ledge guard together, having you and your partner off stage is the worst case scenario. Team ledge guards are not difficult.
Going for extended combos/tech chases/chain grabs. This goes against utilizing your most valuable resource to its maximum extent. It's almost always best to just go for your hardest punish as fast as possible. One of the only exceptions that comes to mind is if you are wobbling someone and your partner is a zoning character keeping the other player out.
Committing to ledge guards when someone comes back with invincibility. When someone comes down with invincibility, you have to respect it. Run away. Don't try to ledge guard someone and get yourself killed. If there is a floaty recovering while their partner dies, don't stand next to the ledge waiting for them to try to come back. Get out of there and do your best to find favorable stage positioning.
Trying to fight floaties. Double team the fastfaller instead. Floaties are slow and if you are trying to approach them, you are playing to their advantage.
Spamming projectiles stupidly. Don't use projectiles because you can. Do them because they are going to be good. There's nothing worse than teaming with a shitty Falco because their lasers are always counterproductive and end up messing up their teammate more than the opponents.
Rolling into the other team, both out of shield and on knockdowns. This is an easy way to get yourself killed. If you are in the normal XXYY positioning, tech behind your partner and let them defend you.
Not taking your partner's stock. 2v1 is basically hopeless if your opponents have decent teamwork. Even if your teammate is better than you, taking his stock is usually the right thing to do.
Reading tech rolls into your partner's zone. This is their zone. Let them cover it.
Going for the right option too late. Don't try to make up for not seeing something quickly enough by doing something that's too optimistic once you react. If you didn't notice that your partner got a grab, that you should help them recover, or any other number of situations, keep your composure and think about what's the best thing to do now. People frequently fumble over their partners because they realize what they should have done and then try to do it when the time window has passed.
Ledgehop aerials. Generally it's better to let your partner try to create space for you than to do something risky from the ledge. If your teammate is nearby and you are on the ledge, don't get greedy and try to attack. In all likelihood, your partner will be able to be able to help you get back on stage without you having to take any risk.
Going offstage to ledge guard. If you are against a Fox and you go offstage to ledge guard, you will probably get shined. Going off stage is not good in teams. Stick with your teammate, have one person grab the ledge, and the other person cover the onstage option. Team ledge guards are easy and optimal. The ability for Peach/Puff to safely go off stage to ledge guard is a big reason why they are amazing teams characters.
Recovering to the ledge. Good players hold onto the ledge in teams. Don't expect them to try to get off and cover on stage options. That's what their partner is for.
Pushing someone onto the edge while your partner is recovering. This is niche scenario but it comes up surprisingly often. Someone is ledge guarding your teammate. You try to pressure them to so your partner can recover. They shield and your attack hits them onto the edge, messing up your partner's recovery. Try to go for a grab in this situation instead.
Letting go of the ledge. As implied above, you should hold onto the ledge. Taking away recovery to the ledge makes it dramatically easier for your partner to cover the remaining options.
Not helping a recovering partner. This is usually just bad awareness. You have to develop your map awareness and watch everyone on the screen. Try hard not to focus on anyone. Watch everything. This is the hardest part of teams.
Trying to recover when it's hopeless. If your partner is getting comboed on the stage, kill yourself as fast as possible to get back in the fray sooner. Half a second is enough for someone to eat 60%
Trying too hard to help a recovering partner. Falcon is a good example of a character who usually sucks at saving his teammate. It's generally not worth it do run off stage and try to up+b your partner back onto the stage. If you are at a high percent and feel you have little to lose, then it might be worth it to go for it. But putting a fresh stock at risk for having a chance to save your teammate is rarely a good idea (if you are at a massive deficit, then it is probably worthwhile). One of the strengths of Peach, Puff, and Falco is that they can so frequently save their teammates without exposing themselves to any risk.
Side note: I don't believe there is a good consensus about what someone with a projectile should do when their partner is under duress. My rule of them would be that you should try to approach, even if your character is bad at approaching, rather than using projectiles to try to help them. Do not do this is you a) know that it will not work, or b) know that your projectiles will be effective in helping to save your partner. In the first situation, do your best to use your projectile to be as annoying as possible. Falco is the exception to my rule of thumb. His lasers are almost always enough to save your partner.
Fundamental, easy to implement strategies:
If you combo someone offstage while an opponent does the same to your partner, it's usually best to save your teammate. If the kill you are going to net is a low percent kill, if you are playing characters that struggle in the neutral, or if you know it's guaranteed, it might be ok to go for the kill. But generally, it is better to save your teammate. Many characters can get saves that are very difficult to stop, and if you run across the stage while an opponent is still recovering, you may be able to setup at 2v1 situation.
When you die and your partner is going to die imminently, wait for them to die before dropping from the respawn platform. Double invincibility is amazing. When both you and your partner come down invincibly, you have complete control. It generally leads to the situation where both of you are in the center and the other team is isolated. If it doesn't, it's probably because the other team was dumb and got themselves both cornered in the same part of the stage, which is even worse.
When your partner is getting pressured, hit his shield and force whoever is pressuring him to shield. If he does not shield, you will get a hit. Either way, your partner is no longer being pressured and can roll away. When your partner is cornered or trying to recover, attack whoever is pressuring him. The same situation arises. The opponent must block, evade, or get hit. All three of those options allow your partner to get back onto the stage.
When your partner is getting comboed, swing in that direction with your bread and butter spacing moves, such as Marth's fair or Falcon's nair. If you hit both your teammate and the opponent, then your teammate is no longer getting comboed. Moreover, you might even be able to follow up on your opponent. Then, if you are able to space one additional attack on him without hitting your teammate, this might start a team combo. At worst, you end the combo and your teammate takes 10%, and at best, you get a big opening.
In situations where your teammate is not at kill percent and your opponent is, where you cannot properly space an attack around your teammate, hit them both with your killing move. Communicate to your partner in advance to always survival DI in these situations. Sometimes when your partner gets a grab, you are not properly spaced to hit only your opponent. If your partner can live too, then just take the kill.
When your (non-floaty) partner is recovering, run to his side of the stage. Do your best to hold some position to let him safely get to the ledge. If this is not possible, grab the ledge and use whatever stalling possible to hold it until your partner is there. Learning to time your ledgehop aerial, waveland, or whatever you opt for is really crucial. Generally you want to do it as late as possible, such that your partner snaps the ledge as soon as you let go, but other factors may influence your decision. If you were not able to refresh your invincibility, you might go sooner. If you have practiced with your partner, you might be able to share the ledge. This is particularly beneficial if there is a disparity between your two characters' ability to get back on the stage. Refreshing your invincibility one additional time and then letting your Fox teammate do invincible ledgedash could very well be the best option.
When you have an opponent sandwiched, space attacks on both sides of them. If one hit lands, they are boned. Generally their only option to get out is a roll, so try to be cognizant of that. Still, neglecting to cover the roll might sometimes be ok because the reward for landing a hit is so high. Like I said, teams is about getting as much done as you can in the shortest possible time.
Read missed techs. It's harder to keep track of everything in doubles. Pay attention to how someone is controlling their character. Guessing a missed tech often leads to a kill. If someone is in hitstun and tries to tech, then you hit them before they hit the ground, they are going to miss the tech. Moreover, if someone misses one tech, they are likely to miss subsequent ones because of trying to press the trigger too late for the initial one. Once you get a 2v1 knockdown and someone misses a tech, they should get obliterated. Get comfortable with going for the read on a missed tech rather than a reactionary grab on a techroll.
Read tech rolls toward their teammate. In teams, several defensive habits are highly prominent because they are very strong. Among them are shielding a lot, rolling, continuous survival DI, and tech rolling toward one's partner. Read these and punish them.
About me: I'm an aspiring Falcon player from NorCal. Though I am not near a top player currently, my rate of improvement has impressed many, and I finally have some wins under my belt. I learned to play teams with Replicate, Shroomed, SFAT, PewPewU, and L. Thus, my thoughts about how it should be played reflect my environment in which I learned to play. Other players like DJNintendo, The Moon, and Mew2king play styles drastically different from my own. They have shown that defense can be viable in teams, which is not well reflected in this guide. Currently, I am trying to do commentary frequently, especially on doubles, where commentator knowledge is often lacking. I hope you enjoyed the read and can implement some of my ideas in your own play. Follow me @NMWhittier on Twitter