MOTW: Trick Room

What if you like slow Pokemon? I love slow Pokemon. Slowking has been one of my favorites for a while. Snorlax, Lunatone and Solrock, Porygon 2, Bronzong. All fairly slow Pokemon, and that really leads to their greatest weakness, speed. Well, what if you could turn the tides with your slow team? Trick room lets you do exactly that.

Going again with a more in-depth move this week, I had to make sure that I did my research. Especially when it comes to Trick Room and how entire teams are built around it. I was doing some research and again came upon a fantastic article from Smogon University. It was extraordinarily lengthy, so I’ll try and shorten it and summarize it the best I can here. There are some excellent points they touch on that I think are really key to creating a successful Trick Room team.

When Diamond and Pearl first came out it brought a bunch of new and interesting moves, one of which is Trick Room. Trick Room is mostly seen as a gimmick move that makes the slower Pokémon go first. This is simply not true; Trick Room, with the right team, can pose a threat to any standard fast paced team that do not prepare for such a threat. The real problem that Trick Room has, unlike Sunny Day and Rain Dance, is there is no way to extend its effects.

When making a Trick Room team it is better to plan out how you will sweep rather than how you will get your sweepers in. It is completely possible to create an effective Trick Room team that will sweep your opponent, though doing so will require thought. Trick Room is very powerful once it is set up, as slower Pokémon tend to have higher Attack and Special Attack stats when compared to most fast Pokémon.

Trick Room is a move which will make the slower Pokémon go first for four turns. It has -7 priority, that is to say that every single move, including Roar and Whirlwind, will go before Trick Room. There isn’t a Pokémon that brings instant Trick Room to the field by means of an ability, which means that you will always have to set it up by using the move.

Basing a team around Trick Room is a hard thing to do, considering that all of your Pokémon outside of Trick Room are going to be slow, and a vast majority of the Pokémon will out speed them. Having a game plan will help you pull off a win.

When picking Trick Room the Speed of the Pokémon plays a major role. Pokémon like Starmie and Gengar thrive on being faster than common threats. The battle is dependent on who is faster than who and outpacing certain threats. While running Trick Room the opposite is in effect. You want as little Speed as you can to out run the faster Pokémon while under its effects. Anything over base 100 Pokémon is risky to use inside of Trick Room.

Building a Trick Room team isn’t as easy as it may seem. Slapping on a Rhyperior with a Trick Room user or two isn’t the way to get a successful team. Trick Room teams need constant support, so having two to three Trick Room users is almost necessary on your team. That leaves only three spots for sweepers; however, this means that your team will need to be able to handle some of the top threats through reliance on the effects of Trick Room and without it.

When choosing a lead for Trick Room it is necessary that they can almost always set up Trick Room, it isn’t necessary that they can set down Stealth Rock, but it is helpful for when you are trying to sweep. The lead isn’t going to be a standard suicide lead such as Azelf, but a Pokémon able to come in time after time and hopefully set up Trick Room. You do not need to depend on this sole Pokémon to set up Trick Room, but if it is a weak link in the team, then the team will not defend itself well.

When it comes to abusing Trick Room, using mixed sweepers with high Attack and Special Attack stats is the way to break your opponent’s walls. Of course we cannot run a Pokémon such as Infernape on our team, being too fast for it to abuse Trick Room easily, so you must rely on Pokémon such as Octillery and Tyranitar to act as wallbreakers. There is no point in trying to run a stall Trick Room team, it just wouldn’t be effective due to the fact that Trick Room's main use is to allow slower, hard-hitting Pokémon to have an advantage in a high-paced game. An offensive team is how Trick Room teams should be built; the only wall like Pokémon on your teams should be the one setting up Trick Room.

When finishing off your team by adding the final Trick Room Pokémon to your team, make sure to check that your Trick Room Pokémon are not easily defeated by common wallbreakers such as Infernape or Tyranitar. Having a strong defensive core with your Trick Room Pokémon is extremely helpful, making them able to switch in on one another’s weaknesses. The other Trick Room Pokémon should be able to handle your sweeper’s weaknesses as well, making sure to stop opposing sweepers once Trick Room is finished.

Support is difficult to pull off in Trick Room, giving a spot on your team to one Pokémon is going to leave you a bit lacking either with Trick Room Pokémon or with sweepers. When trying to figure out how to support a Trick Room team, remember that Trick Room should support itself. It should have a Pokémon which can set up Trick Room that could also lay down Stealth Rock. It should be able to handle threats like Heatran and Scizor.

What you should have in your Trick Room checklist:

- Have a few Pokémon that can Trick Room -

Having one or two won’t cut it, especially if they’re going to be switching in constantly, if your opponent gets wise to your attack having a third Trick Room user as back up is something that should not be looked over. The Trick Room users should be able to cover each other's weaknesses, along with the weaknesses of the team. This is asking three Pokémon to do the job of what a normal team of six Pokémon does, so it will be difficult.

- Have enough power behind your attacks -

When picking a Pokémon you want to pick something with large attack stats and a big movepool. You use a Pokémon which can only use physical attacks and then you are walled by Skarmory or Hippodon, or using a special attacker who is then walled by Blissey. Normally, Pokémon which can use a mix set is the best Pokémon to run in Trick Room. Tyranitar, Octillery, Metagross can all run decent mixed sets and can KO the most common walls that get in the way of a sweep.

- Have a well balanced team -

When using a Trick Room team you need to use a team that can defend itself from common threats. Having a Pokémon which can stop a wallbreaker such as Infernape or Dragonite can be the deciding point between a loss or a win. If you cannot defend yourself from these threats without Trick Room being in effect, then you need to change your team a bit.

- Natures, IVs, and Items -

Normally Pokémon worry about their Speed stat, and mixed attackers have to worry about which defense stat that they have to drop; in Trick Room it’s simple, just pick the stat you would like to raise, and then make sure it will lower the Speed stat. You want your Pokémon to be as slow as they can, so lowering it any way you can is necessary. You usually want your Speed IV to be as low as it can get, normally 0, though it is understandable and won’t make much of an impact if you raise it so you can get a certain Hidden Power. For items your sweepers want all the power they can get, sadly Choice Band and Choice Specs are out of the question. When trying to sweep you do not want one of your Pokémon to become ineffective because the move it is using cannot hurt the opposing Pokémon. This means your sweepers will have to be relying on Life Orb to boost their power enough to get the sweep. The Pokémon that set up Trick Room will appreciate Leftovers so they can continually come back in through all the attacks. Speed reducing items, like Macho Brace, can be used on your sweepers if you would like to use a certain Pokémon on your team. Generally your Pokémon will miss the power of Life Orb, though.

Here are a couple of Pokemon you might want to use on your trick room team for either supporters or sweepers, and why:


Slowking carries a much higher Special Defense than regular Defense, and instead of Calm Mind, he has Nasty Plot. Nasty Plot, when used, gives Slowking a +2 Special Attack boost, making him both a great Trick Room supporter and sweeper.


A fantastic Trick Room supporter. Porygon2 can come in on the likes of Gyarados, Jolteon, and Heatran and then Trick Room up. With the move Magic Coat, Porygon2 can reflect status, and give your team even more of an advantage when playing.


Some Trick Room users that have a bit of Speed on their side can be used effectively. Cresselia is one of the best Trick Room users because of her fairly low speed, and her outrageous defense stats. She can switch in over and over to set up your sweepers, which is something hard to pass up.


Is a great Trick Room Pokémon to have if you carry a weakness to Fire and Ice-type attacks. Grumpig stands a good chance at beating mixed Infernape, thanks to its typing and ability.


Is a great physical sweeper to add in on a Trick Room team. Its flaw was always his Speed and Defense stat, but now that he is put into Trick Room, that hardly matters. Snorlax isn’t limited to two attack moves as it probably isn’t going to be carrying Curse or Rest, though Curse could still be used to an extent.


Is another great physical attacker that was only hampered by his speed. Rhyperior gets STAB Stone Edge and Earthquake which provide superb coverage, and is only resisted by the levitating Steel-types. On top of that, Rhyperior can also stat up in Trick Room by using Swords Dance, boosting its already huge Attack stat.


Tyranitar makes an excellent mixed attacker under Trick Room thanks to its low base Speed, its great Attack and Special Attack, and not to mention its huge movepool. Tyranitar can break almost every wall that comes in its way with its STAB moves, and it can even carry moves such as Fire Blast to hit Scizor with.


Probably the best mixed attacker for a Trick Room team. With base 105 in both attacks stats, and a fairly large movepool, Octillery can provide a force to be reckoned with by all stall and regular teams.


With a high base 130 Special Attack stat, Glaceon can cause hell inside of Trick Room. Glaceon’s only flaw just happens to be that it is an Ice-type, being fraught with weaknesses will have a hard time switching into attacks.


Dragonite finally outclasses its brother, Salamence, inside of Trick Room. Dragonite can abuse its low base Speed, extensive movepool, and great Attack stats to breaks walls and sweep well under Trick Room. With Superpower, Dragon Claw, Outrage, Thunderbolt, Aqua Tail, Fire Blast, and other moves, Dragonite becomes extremely hard to stop. Although it does well in Trick Room, you may find it suffering from four moveslot syndrome; you give up one attack and it can no longer hit a specific wall.

Hopefully, after reading this guide to Trick Room, you’ll have a better understanding on how to create a Trick Room team. The next part is getting used to the play style, but with enough practice you will be sweeping in no time with your impressive Trick Room team.

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