How to TV train for beginners

One of the common questions in the main Temtem competitive Discord goes something like this:

 “Hey everyone, Shrek here. My favourite tems are Mushook and Cycrox, because I live in a swamp. What TVs should I use on these tems?”

This guide will help our dear friend Shrek, and will hopefully be of use to you!


Resources to get you started

A few things we’re going to need to get started. The Temtem Wiki has entries on Cycrox and Mushook that are easily searchable and list the tem’s base stats and moves, so that’s nice to have.


EXO. Taphel has a competitive temtem document that contains the Speed Tiers for Cipanku: - damage calculator! Important for, uhh, calculating damage.


Where to start - Two styles of TV Spreading


Those of you coming over from Pokemon will be familiar with the two different common types of TV spreading: general, and specific. In Shrek’s case, we’re going to go over how to spread Cycrox generally, and Mushook specifically. Players who use both spreads have recently top-3’d tournaments, and both spreading strategies can lead to success on ladder. But before these two styles branch out, we’re going to start at the base of the TV spreading tree: Stamina and Speed.


The first building blocks: Stamina and Speed


Two of the most fundamental things you need to understand in Temtem is who can use what moves before over-exerting themselves, and who goes before who in the turn order. Let’s start with Cyrcox.


Since Shrek lives in a swamp, we’re going to combine water and toxic tems on their team. The Cycrox they bought from RatDog on discord has the trait Water Synthesize, so we’re going to use it alongside an Ukama to hit for big damage with Venom Spread. 


Cycrox - Speed: Luckily, we don’t need to add any TVs to speed for Venom spread to go after Ukama’s Water Cannon, so we will leave them at zero.


Cycrox - Stamina: Here’s where we define a rotation. We want Cycrox to be able to use a combination of moves in succession without over-exerting. Cycrox’s three main attacking moves are Venom Spread, Wastewater, and DigiThreat. Spread and Threat both have a stamina cost of 20, while Wastewater has a cost of 25. So let’s say that over three turns, we want to use all three moves. 65 total stamina. 


Cycrox has 52 base Stamina at level 70. If a tem has anywhere between 41-60 stamina, they will regain 4 points on any turn in which they do not rest. This means that by its third attack, Cycrox will have access to 52+4+4 = 60 stamina. That’s not enough. So let’s add 5 stamina to Cycrox’s base using TVs. Per our calculations, we’ll need to add 29 TVs to get to 57 Stamina. 


Nice, so now let’s look at Mushook. This is a Tireless Mushook that Shrek wants to use to dunk on Lord Farquaad on ladder, and wants it to be a fast, all-out attacker - let’s work with that.


Mushook - Speed: At the very least, we want Shrek’s Mushook to be faster than Cycrox’s Venom Spread, so that the two of them can work together to deal major damage to non-Toxic tems with Wastewater or Urushiol + Venom Spread as a combo. Mushook’s base speed at level 70 is 141. Cycrox’s Venom Spread clocks in at 151, so let’s get to 152 speed. That requires 79 TVs.


Mushook - Stamina: Mushook has the Tireless trait, which actively incentivizes it to over-exert itself, so we don’t need to put any points into Stamina. 0 TVs here.

Now, let’s branch out.


General Spreading - Cycrox


We have 971 TVs left on Cycrox now that we’ve calculated its stamina and speed. General spreading thinks about the question of “what does this tem do?” Well, we know that Cycrox is using Venom Spread alongside two offensively powerful tems - Ukama and Mushook. Venom Spread, Digithreat, and Wastewater are 2 special attacks and 1 physical attack, so we’re going to concentrate more on Cycrox’s defenses, relying on the toxic ticks, digital’s attacking type, and Venom Spread’s raw power.


When spreading defensively, we consider HP, defense, and special defense. Cycrox has solid bases - 73 HP, 61 defense, and 71 special defense. Let’s briefly go over each stat:


HP - generally speaking, HP is the most valuable defensive stat to invest in. This should be somewhat straightforward - there are special and physical attacks in this game, and HP increases a tem’s survivability against both, while defense and special defense only works on one. We’re going to max out Cycrox’s HP TVs. 


DEF and SPDEF - Defense is going to be our next priority on Cycrox, simply because Cycrox starts with less of it. Each stat we gain in defense is going to be more valuable than special defense. 


Think of it this way. Cycrox starts with 117 base DEF and 128 base SPDEF at level 70. Going up 30 stat points in each will require 214 TVs in DEF and 211 TVs in SPDEF. That’s an increase of 25.6% in DEF, and a 23.4% increase in SPDEF. So as you can see, you get slightly more out of defenses and special defenses.


We’re going to want Cycrox to have relatively balanced bulk. After adding 494 TVs to max out our HP, we have 477 TVs left over. We’ll put 279 TVs into DEF and 189 TVs into SPDEF so we end up with 156 DEF and 155 SPDEF.


Now you might ask, “Hey East, why didn’t we put 500 TVs into HP?” Well, due to how TVs translate into stats, those extra 6 TVs don’t yield us an additional stat. By only adding TVs to the point where they yield stats, we end up with 9 SPATK TVs left over, that can raise SPATK from 133 to 135. Cycrox is finished.



Specific Spreading - Mushook


As we established earlier, Shrek wants Mushook to be an offensive tem that uses the Tireless trait to repeatedly bash its opponents with Wastewater, Perfect Jab, and Uppercut. We have 921 TVs left over after investing 79 into speed. Now, you might think, when specifically calculating TV spreads for an offensive tem, that we’d start by calculating Mushook’s damage against specific threats. In fact, we’re going to do the opposite.


This is because we actually don’t need to calculate offensively - our offensive investment is going to be as much as we possibly can. What we want to calculate, specifically, is how to get Mushook to survive specific threats so that it can bring its offense to bear.


Let’s say that, for example’s sake, Shrek wants to be able to use this Mushook against opposing Tuvine. We’re going to specifically calculate swapping Mushook into Tuvine’s Crystal Plume Gatling followed by taking its Feather Gatling without dying.


This will require 363 HP TVs, or 259 HP and 79 DEF TVs. This leaves us with two options:


1: We put the 363 TVs into HP, 500 into attack (unlike before, all 500 are required to get to 211 ATK), and the remaining TVs into HP so that we can leverage that HP into more uses of Tireless, and more bulk.


2: We use the specific calculation of 259 HP and 79 DEF, put 500 into ATK, and the remaining into speed, so that we can outspeed some opponents, like a Tuvine with minor speed investment.


And with that, boom, our Mushook is complete:


Closing thoughts:


-I wouldn’t recommend copying these spreads. These are a basic guide to start spreading for yourself, but they would require further evaluation and testing before they’d be settled. Temtem is a very complicated game, and TV spreading is one of its most complex aspects. Like Shrek, it has layers. Items, matchups, buffs, debuffs, and more. You’ll learn these in time. 


-This guide is meant to exist outside of the current meta or known spreads. Yes, I am aware that Cycrox and Mushook are not necessarily the best combo in the game. The entire point of this guide isn’t to tell you what the best TV spreads or tems are, but to teach you to think for yourself. Asking what the best TV spread is like asking what the best flavour of ice cream is. Many different players will have many different ideas, and the point is to find your own, not eat other people’s ice cream.


That’s all for this piece. Thanks for following along all this time.You can find me on discord if you have any questions. Cheers!