Trotter’s Guide to Team Building for Competitive Temtem
In this guide, I will discuss the process of building a competitive Temtem Team. This will detail the how and why of tem selection, and in doing this I hope I can help new people who are struggling with building their own teams.
To get the most out of this guide, I highly advise you have an idea of what tems can do and the roles they fill. Check out some tournaments, streams, and other guides for that insight and then come back here.
First, let us define some terms.
Synergy- In Temtem’s dual battle system, some moves have synergy when the allied tem next to them is of a specific type. Making sure your key moves have options to grant synergy is not necessarily required to make a good team, but having key synergy moves can often make your team much stronger.
Core- A team’s “core” is a group of approximately three to five tems that you build the rest of your team around. These Tems are often the linchpin of your team, and they will usually be part of the 5 out of 8 that you will pick during a competitive match.
Flexible spot- A Flex Spot is a Tem on your team that is used for covering weakness or providing additional options. This Tem is not often crucial to the team’s game plan. Instead, it is brought along to protect your core by allowing the team to be more flexible. Flex spots are the spots in your team where you have the most room to experiment with different options.
Aggro- An aggressive team comp often relies on killing the opponent quickly. At the Time of writing this guide, Aggro teams are using cores of neutrals and fires that can hit very hard.
Stall- Stall Comps are all about dragging the game out to turn 30, where the winner is decided by who has the most tems alive. They rely on buffing their core tems and healing themselves up to drag the game out after the enemy has less tems than they do. At the time of writing this guide, stall comp cores (also known as just “salad”) are nature tems playing alongside other nature tems, such as Kinu and Cerneaf.
Midrange- This is the most diverse category of teams. Midrange is a term for more balanced team comps designed for games that should take longer to win than aggro, but not designed for turn 30 win conditions like stall. The current most popular midrange teams incorporate many toxics, but this is not always the case.
Role Compression- A tem offers role compression when its typing allows it to do multiple jobs on your team at once. Valash can be a crystal check or set up synergy for the move Quetza while also being a unique win condition and threat by itself. Myx can also be a Crystal-coverage option, a mental attacker, and a win condition thanks to puppet master.
Statuses- Status effects are secondary conditions that can be applied to tems. These can have positive and negative effects, depending on what condition is applied. You can only apply two effects to a tem at a time. This means you can apply two statuses to push off other negative statuses. Some moves, like bush, automatically do this.
Banned Out- If you only have 1 way to deal with a specific tem, your opponent can ban it during the pick ban phase. This will leave your team extremely vulnerable to specific threats. Being banned out means the opponent has forced you into a very bad position before you have even put tems onto the battlefield.
Coverage- Coverage is your ability to deal with different types and threats. It helps you avoid being Banned Out.
Board State- Board state is the current situation on the battlefield and the options and advantages each opponent has over the other. A favorable board state is one where you can advance your own win condition without the opponent advancing theirs.
Example: You have a Nagaise and Goolder on the field, and your opponent has a Raican and Skunch on the field. The current "Board state" is favorable for you, because Goolder will protect Nagaise, Nagaise can buff itself or attack one of the enemies, and neither Raican or Skunch can threaten your Goolder or Nagaise at all. The opponent that has Raican and Skunch on the field is basically forced to lose that round of the game, because they have no choice but to swap out.
Pressure- Pressure is the amount your current board state threatens your opponent’s board state. A Ukama will heavily pressure an enemy fire, for example. Pressure can also apply to the Tems your opponent could potentially swap in.
Momentum- Your ability to continue to apply pressure to the board constantly.
Raid Boss- A Tem can become a raid boss by receiving so many buffs through the course of the game it becomes extremely difficult to take down. Two popular examples of this currently are Valash and Cerneaf. Valash can use Madness Buff to sweep entire fields and heal with Scavenger. Cerneaf can self heal with revitalization and bush while hitting with powerful Water Cutting Lilies.
Speed Staggering- You can speed stagger your tems to ensure a specific Tem uses its moves before its ally. This allows you to achieve more powerful combos then an individual tem can. One example of a speed stagger combo is Akranox and Ukama. Akranox can use venom spread on an enemy that is poisoned to do big toxic damage to that target. Ukama can poison with Water Cannon while paired with a Toxic ally. So your Ukama should be faster than your Akranox’s Venom Spread so that it can poison an enemy before the Akranox uses its Venom spread attack.
Step one: Choosing your Core
There is not much to say here. Your core can be selected for any reason, you just have to believe your core is cohesive. Maybe you really want to use your favorite Tem, or perhaps there are neat interactions between tems that you want to experiment with. Maybe you saw your favorite streamer using the tem and you want to try it. Maybe you embrace the jank life and want to try to make a tem work that other people have said is bad. Regardless of why you have picked your core, these Tems are going to hold the team together. They will be the start of your team and will be a crucial element of your game plan. What makes a strong core? A strong core functions as a unit. It will be a series of tems that support each other providing protection for their weaknesses or granting synergies to make them hit harder.
For example, a popular Core for Aggro Comps is Skunch, Raican, and Fire Koish. You may wonder: what makes this core work well together? With this core, you can easily speed stagger Skunch and your fire tems so that Skunch moves first and lowers an enemy’s defense with Perfect jab so that synergy Quetzaleno will do a lot of damage. Very few tems can tank a perfect jab into Quetzal from a Koish or Raican. If they ban one of the core Tems, you can still consistently get the synergy by carefully building the rest of your team. Fire Koish and Skunch prevent earths from threatening fire types due to the water and melee typing as well. This makes for a powerful aggressive core that can get a very early game advantage if your opponent is not careful.
For another example of a strong core, I will be using the team I built and ran in several recent tournaments. Going forward, I will be using this team to help explain the thought processes behind team building.
For the core, we are starting with Tortenite. I am a longtime proponent of Tort, I have been running it successfully since Kisiwa’s release, and I find it fun to play. In addition it is the only tem that can successfully wall the powerful Nagaise Goolder open on it’s own. As such, it is going to be the start of my Team. I opt for the Confined trait because I love the options it offers. With confined, you can cage the enemy to buff yourself and set up your ally tem to help it sweep. So, who will pair well with Tort in this core? Let’s evaluate Tort. Tort is weak to Fire, Wind, Melee, and Earth. I need something that can help with those common weaknesses. A water type can threaten two of those weaknesses, and can hit the rest for neutral damage. Out of all the water types, Ukama is the obvious choice. Ukama is an extremely strong water tem with the move Water Canon. Water Cannon is a move that synergizes with toxic Tems like Tortenite, granting Toxic ticks to enemy Tems in addition to having a high base damage. Ukama and Tort using Crystal Spikes and Water Canon allows for an extremely high pressure lead (first two tems in pick/ban). Ukama also protects against two of Tort’s key weaknesses: Fire and Earth.
Next, we want to choose another tem that works well with these two and perhaps provides some extra coverage. First, we still have a scary weakness to wind types, so we want something that can either resist or hold its own vs. enemy winds. For this, we are going to choose Anerobic Volarend. The anaerobic trait is good at walling wind tems once you get a few buffs online, and offers another powerful high-pressure synergy open for Ukama. While other winds like Wiplump, Granpah, Loali, Saku, do have a great ability to tank wind moves, none of those options strongly benefit from Tortenite and Ukama. I was also worried about how I would handle enemy toxic teams, so that rules out Wiplump/Saku/Loali. Granpah is a good tem, but it only has wind moves so if I were to swap it into an enemy wind tem, I couldn’t damage it back very well. However, there is one strong candidate that can bulk up to resist wind moves while helping and being helped by Ukama and Tortenite: Volarend. Volarend helps Ukama by being a Toxic ally for Water Cannon, Ukama could help Volarend by running Turbo Choreography, Volarend can really scare enemy toxic types and hold its own vs. winds for Tortenite, and Tortenite benefits Volarend’s Toxic Plume thanks to its crystal typing. Toxic teams are susceptible to both Volarend and Tortenite By having both of these tems, I can guarantee one of them makes it through the pick/ban phase while still benefiting the other Tem that is in my core. This is what I meant by tems “functioning as a unit” earlier.
Now that we have a core team, we are going to build out from here.
Step two: Beyond the Core
These spots have some flexibility. They will not be as open ended as your flex spots, but they are generally there to provide extra coverage and help your team deal with meta threats. When building your team, you want to use these slots to ensure you can handle the types of teams that you are going to be seeing most often.
For my example team, the first thing I notice is that Aggro is incredibly strong and my team is susceptible to Ukama getting banned out. So, I need another water and a mental type. While looking at my options, I noticed that there is a perfect tem that fills both roles while only taking one team spot: Nagaise! Now if an aggro comp bans my ukama, I have an additional answer. Deceit Aura is the trait to take here. This ability flips the field's speed allowing me to get a “quick” Tortenite’s Garden off, which means placing the powerful Doom status on an enemy tem near the beginning of the turn. That is another slot down, but even with Volarend I am still feeling kind of weak to wind and I now have 3 electric weaknesses and only 1 electric resist. I want my next slot to be something that can help with that. Grumper is the answer here. It is a slow tem that pairs well with Nagaise (thanks to Deceit Aura). It can use stone wall to help buff up my other Tems. It also has a 4x electric resist which makes it a fantastic option to swap into enemy electrics. It has the powerful Thunder Strike to help handle Winds/ Waters and it also has an earth typing to help me hit enemy crystals and resist fire types even more. For the trait, I decide to break from meta a bit and run Cowards Rest. This is because Cowards Rest grants my Grumper the ability to self-purge the doom status, and some stall teams run a doom component by using bulky Pocus. Since you are limited to two statuses at a time, the exhaust from thunder strike and the rest from cowards rest will push off Doom.
So here we have a Team with Ukama, Tortenite, Volarend, Nagaise, and Grumper. We have a balanced lineup of weaknesses and resists, and we have Tems that function together well. However, we only have one mental during a meta where neutrals are extremely common and strong. Besides, Nagise’s Fury also gets synergy with mentals. I decide those are good reasons to want another mental here. There are a couple of choices for the remaining mental -Myx, Adoroboros, Barnshee, Pocus are all potential options- but for this spot I decide on Adoro. Adoroboros gives me a bit of extra toxic coverage for enemy nature stall. In addition, its Synergy Master trait means Nagaise’s Fury and Water Cannon are going to hit even harder. Most importantly, Adoro’s Synergy Master trait allows for you to outspeed Skunch and one shot it with Synergized Energy Manipulation. Most other Mentals do not have that option, so they die to the pjab quetzal opener due to rather bad bulk.
Now we are at 6 Tems. We have Ukama, Tortenite, Volarend, Nagaise, Grumper, and Adoroboros. We have two slots left to finish our lineup of 8.
Step Three: Filling out your flex spots & Finishing your Team
This is where you want to make sure your major threats are covered and that you have everything you need for your teams composition. These flex slots cover the things you think you will struggle against, and it is a good time to experiment a bit with different Tems to find what works best. You want to fit any synergies you still need here. This is also where we decide if we want a Tem to be our first ban. If we write off a Tem as our first ban, we do not need to account for it in Team building. I decided I can first ban enemy Volarends, which let me ignore my team’s glaring weakness to the tem. This is not uncommon; sometimes a specific Tem or “nightmare combination” of Tems exists for your team, and not all of them can be accounted for. Now is the time to figure out what those are and where you cut your losses. The goal is to make the losing combinations as uncommon in the meta as possible. I maintain a pretty big wind weakness with only a few ways to manage it, but I’m ok with this weakness as not many people run a bunch of winds at the time of building this team.
What makes a good flex choice? You have two major options. You could decide that you want your team to do what it is doing now, but more consistently. Or, you can use this spot to offer new possibilities for your team. Let us look at the team I am building. It has Ukama, Volarend, Tortenite, Grumper, Nagaise, and Adoroboros. It has 3 Tems that can grant water cannon synergy, meaning I have several powerful options for leads. There are 2 wind weaknesses and 1 resist, so even though they are annoying, I should be able to manage most wind tems. So the question is: Do I want some way to better handle them here? Or do I want a nature so I can get Synergized Energy Manipulation for Adoro? You already know one of the reasons for choosing Adoro was the synergy energy manipulation, but at this stage of teambuilding it is not a requirement to have it. Another crystal would be nice for my powerful Tortenite’s Garden synergy, too. However, both add a fire weakness. Referencing my team again, I notice I have 3 Tems that resist or threaten to cover fires, so it is definitely manageable. I also notice that I have nothing that handles a Valash (a major meta threat) very well after it buffs its special defense with Madness Buff. And our team, while having three toxics, wants something that allows it to more easily defeat stall Tems. I considered Anahir for this spot despite its notorious reputation, since it resists the Valash’s Crystal Spikes. But Anahir makes my team too weak to Vulffy and Grumper, and my first ban is already Volarend. The nature/earth and electric/earth typing threaten most everything on the team. At this point I started experimenting and ran Nature Koish for double Synergy Master Energy Manipulation. However, I found it did nothing to threaten the stall match up.
So, after much thought and testing, I decided on Gyalis and Nidrasil. Gyalis is melee/crystal Tem with the powerful hook kick move. In addition to being able to trade well into Valash with Hook Kick, it also helps shore up the matchup against Vulffy and Grumper. Nidrasil is chosen to shore up the matchup vs. stall teams. Its Tri-Apothecary trait can help heal up Tortenite and Volarend during longer matches, and it also helps handle Vulffy and Grumper since neither really handle Nid well.
This means we have a full lineup of Ukama, Volarend, Tortenite, Grumper, Nagaise, Adoroboros, Gyalis, and Nidrasil. We are a bit weak to winds, but that is pretty manageable if we prioritize them in pick ban. We have several strong opening combos and an overall nice lineup of Tems that compliment each other and cover for each other’s weaknesses.
This end result can only come from testing different things, finding out what you are weak to, and trying to figure out exactly how to deal with those problems. The more you know about each individual Tem and what its limits are, the easier this becomes. I have only given you tips and showed you what the thought process behind team building is. From here, only experience can truly guide you.
Step Four: How to Find Weak Points in your Team
While playing PVP, you may notice that things aren’t going according to plan very often. You feel like you are struggling more than you need to.
While adapting to the fight as it unfolds is half of the battle, here are some tips you can use to determine if something is wrong with your team.
- If there is a Tem that you don’t pick often during pick/ban phase, try replacing it. This normally means the Tem is not necessary, and you are effectively fighting with a team of 7 instead of 8.
- You do take it during pick/ban phase, but it can’t accomplish its goals or fulfill its role.
Number 2 is more tricky, so let’s discuss what some common pain points are for this situation. First, it could be you are trying to do something too elaborate or specific. For example, instead of just having Skunch and Raican, you want to have an ally use Drought with your Burglar trait Vulffy. Or you want to fully buff a Noxolotl, get a Myx into Puppet Master range, and then have Noxolotl spam Hallucination.
Maybe what you are trying to do isn’t too specific, but the Tem in question doesn’t have the right TV spread allocation. If you are relying on a Granpah to swap in and spam hypnosis and willpower drain but you have given the Granpah a ton of speed and special attack, it might take too much damage before it can get those hold moves up and be an annoyance. If you want the Granpah to do a lot of damage and hurt enemies, but you gave it way more HP than offense stats, it might feel underwhelming.
Your Tem may also not have enough support from its team. Building around Valash without taking allies that can heal and buff it may mean Valash’s potential is being capped. If you are relying on Valash to be its own win condition but you do not have an ally with buffing moves like stone wall, revitalize, or anything like that, you can’t also expect Valash to consistently carry by itself.
Finally, your Tems may be having to cover up too many issues the rest of your team has. If just two Tems are carrying the burden of the rest of the team, you may feel “let down” by the two tems that are just way overloaded with work when the real problem is that the Tems you added in Step 2 add more issues than advantages.
For every match, carefully try to pinpoint what went wrong and why. This is especially true if you felt uneasy as soon as the match started after the pick/ban phase, because you either played pick/ban inefficiently or there was a weak point on your team that you had to struggle to make up for.
I hope this has helped you in the building of your own teams and allows you to know what to look for going forward. If you have questions, contact me on discord (Trot#4671) or in game (Trotter).
Once again to help get the most out of this guide you should have an idea of what each Tem can do. I recommend Rigs guide on the subject. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1fjXgNeoAdrGnma03AsOFj3Df44yEoIyVz7qVVouK8WI/edit
Also thanks to Rig for her help in editing this guide.