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  1. = Battle Tactics: Risk Versus Reward =
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  3. While making accurate predictions is important, most players often overlook the concept of RISK and REWARD. Whether you decide to make a prediction or not, you should carefully compare your risks and rewards for a certain move.
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  5. - The Game of Risk -
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  7. More often than not, you can measure risks and rewards for a decision by seeing your opponent's immediate actions and analyzing their possibilities. For example, if you switch into Chansey (a wall), what would be some possible risks / rewards? Assuming that you predicted correctly, you could wall a Sp. Atk move and help gain some momentum by forcing the opposing Pokemon to switch out on the next turn. If you predict incorrectly and your opponent switches into something like Terrakion, you are losing momentum. It is important to take all of these factors into consideration before making a prediction. Make sure that the possible rewards (such as taking out a huge threat to your team or gaining momentum) outweigh the risks (such as sacrificing a Pokemon).
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  9. - Safe or Risky Predictions? -
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  11. It's extremely important to differentiate the two. Generally, they can be identified as:
  12.  1) Safe Plays = low risk; little or medium reward
  13.  2) Risky Plays = high risk; high reward
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  15. Based on team preview, you can often tell whether you have a good team match-up or not. You might see if your Pokemon can counter your opponent's team fairly easily or if any of your opponent's Pokemon can pose a threat (such as sweeping your team or walling your crucial sweepers). At a team disadvantage, you would want to play carefully and sometimes aggressively to get in your most powerful and valuable Pokemon in (and it can vary from game to game because you may face a variety of different match-ups). When you're at an advantage, you would want to avoid taking unnecessary risks. There is a situation when you would ignore any risks. If you're about to lose, you should take any chance that could help you win.
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  17. Here's a scenario to help you understand this concept better:
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  19. You have a max speed Timid Heatran (with Fire Blast / Hidden Power Ice / Stone Edge / Flash Cannon). It only has around 60% of its HP left. Your opponent has Ferrothorn with around 20% of its HP left. It has Stealth Rock / Spikes / Gyro Ball / Leech Seed. However, he also has a tank Garchomp with about 50% of its HP left.
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  21. What should you do? You have two main options:
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  23. a) Use Fire Blast as an attempt to get Ferrothorn.
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  25. b) Predict the switch-in and use Hidden Power [Ice].
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  27. Explanation:
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  29. The best play here is to go with #2. By doing so, you've most likely taken down a Garchomp. Since Ferrothorn doesn't have much options against Heatran, the most logical option for your opponent is to switch into Garchomp. Even if he stays in Ferrothorn, the worst thing that can happen is that you'll take two turns to KO Ferrothorn. After dealing with Ferrothorn, you'll most likely outspeed Garchomp because you know it has a tank moveset / EVs. Although you had to use a prediction, using Hidden Power [Ice] is the safer play.
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  31. * Side Note: Some of the sets aren't used often, like Timid nature on Heatran or tank Garchomp, but it is just used to illustrate a situation.
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  33. - Limited Opportunities -
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  35. Many players have faced a situation where there is no safe counter to a Pokemon. For example, your opponent may have a wall-breaker out and there may not be a good switch-in. This limits your opportunities to minimize any potential risk. In this case, the best thing to do is to analyze the possible moveset of that Pokemon and act appropriately.
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  37. Sometimes, it's not just a wall-breaker that can catch you off-guard. For example, Draco Meteor Garchomp might give false information to your opponent and lure in physical walls. They may guess it's a Swords Dance set and switch into something like Gliscor. But, on the switch-in, you can deal quite a bit of damage with Draco Meteor.
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  39. Let's say that you're in a PU battle and your opponent has a Simisage out and revealed Knock Off on its set. Now, this is probably a wall-breaker move set and you may not have any safe switch-ins. In this case, you can sacrifice a Pokemon that is low on health and will not be useful later on. From there, you can get a safe switch-in to a Fire-type sweeper, such as Ninetails. You could also attempt to analyze Simisage's move set. It'll probably have Superpower / Knock Off / Gunk Shot / Leaf Storm. Judging by this, you can send in a bulky grass-type, such as Roselia or Gourgeist-Super to wall it (Gourgeist can actually take a Knock Off and cripple it with Will-O-Wisp).
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  41. - Conclusion -
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  43. During team match-up, try to apply what you have learned. See which team holds the advantage and then decide the appropriate move. You might even have to change your play style to make yourself unpredictable. But, before you make a certain decision, just remember these three words: RISK VERSUS REWARD.
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