Pokémon/Competitive battling/Move Combinations
This page needs to be wikified It needs to be re-written with wikimarkup and laid out correctly according to the editing guidelines. If you can wikify this page, please talk page., or help by discussing possible changes on the
This guide mainly deals with Generations 3 and 4, as there have been many modifications since Generations 1 and 2.
If you can predict a switch or a Status Inducing move, then use Substitute and your opponent won't attack you with a damaging attack. Then, you use Focus Punch, dealing 150 Fighting Damage, which is very successful if you have a high Attack, if it is super-effective, or if it has a STAB. The hard thing is to predict when to use Substitute. Here is an example:
- Turn 1
- You send out Starmie.
- Opponent sends out Snorlax.
- Turn 2
- You call back Starmie.
- You send out Heracross.
- Enemy Snorlax uses Curse.
- Enemy Snorlax's attack rose!
- Enemy Snorlax's Defense rose!
- Enemy Snorlax's Speed fell!
(Snorlax will not be staying in for Heracross)
- Turn 3
- Opponent calls back Snorlax.
- Opponent sends out Skarmory.
- Heracross uses Substitute.
- Heracross has created a Substitute!
(Skarmory is an effort counter to Heracross, but it's Skarmory who will be taking damage)
- Turn 4
- Heracross focuses its energy!
E*nemy Skarmory uses Drill Peck.
- It's super-effective!
- Heracross' Substitute faded.
- Heracross uses Focus Punch.
- Heracross' Focus Punch dealt 35% damage to Skarmory
- Skarmory restores its health using Leftovers.
(Heracross did its job)
- Turn 5
- You call back Heracross.
- You send out Starmie.
- Enemy Skarmory uses Spikes.
- Spikes scatter around Starmie!
(Your opponent knows Heracross will switch out)
If you don't follow what just happened, then you will learn by experience anyways. The point is, Subpunching is not a strategy that you take for granted, since it requires much anticipation. Ironically you may have set Starmie with rapid spin to clear spikes, even so, a repeat performance is unlikely to be permitted now that the opponent has caught on.
A BoltBeamer is a Pokémon that has both Thunderbolt and Ice Beam in its moveset. The good thing is, only Lanturn and Magneton resists these two moves, so you can pretty much do decent damage to most Pokémon. Three good BoltBeamers are Starmie, Regice and Lanturn.
An EndRever is a Pokémon that uses Endure and Reversal. If you recall from memory or the link above, Reversal's power increases as your HP decreases. When you Endure a hit, your HP will be at 1, so that gives Reversal maximum power. This is usually used with Salac Berry, and if you recall, a Salac Berry raises your Speed when your health reaches 25%. This way, your Speed rises when you Endure and you are probably fast enough to take down your opponent. This strategy can be used for Flail and Endeavor, which do approximately the same thing. Watch out, since if your opponent switches to a Ghost type, then Reversal, Flail, and Endeavor become useless. Sandstorm and Hail will also defeat this strategy.
A SubRever is a Pokémon that uses Substitute (Sub) and Reversal (Rev). Since Endure's accuracy falls to 50% if you Endure twice in a row, you need to predict if your opponent's attack will KO you or not. When you use Substitute, you create a copy of yourself for the cost of 25% of your maximum. Substitute never KO's the user, so after four Substitutes, your HP will be extremely low. Note how this works almost like Endure, but you can use Substitute repeatedly without fail (unless no one broke your Substitute, then you just attack the opponent). After four Substitutes, Salac Berry will activate and you can then Reversal, Flail, or Endeavor. A downfall to this strategy, even though it is often considered better than EndReving, are moves that attack multiple times. You will be KO'd by moves such as Rock Blast and Bonemerang. A Ghost type can still defeat you, and so can Sandstorm or Hail.
 Stat Changing + Baton Pass
Although this isn't a real strategy, it's here because pummeling your opponent with attacking moves isn't going to do. Have some strategies in increasing your stats or decreasing your opponent's stats, because this will be more beneficial for you in the long run. Take Heracross for example. Swords Dance then Megahorn is better than Megahorn then Megahorn.
Swagger doubles your opponent's attack stat and confuses it. Foul Play is a dark type attack with 95 base power, that uses your opponent's attack stat rather than your own. This means that after you use Swagger the amount of damage dealt by Foul Play will be doubled. Furthermore since this does not require your own pokemon to have a high attack stat you can invest all your EVs in HP and the defenses. One efficient practitioner of this strategy is Liepard, who has access to the ability to Prankster. Prankster boost the priority of non-damaging moves by +1. A possible movepool for Liepard is Substitute, Swagger, Foul Play, and Thunder Wave. This uses Parafusion in addition to the SwaggerPlay strategy. Prankster boosts the priority of every move but Foul Play. With a little bit of luck, this combination of moves can be incredibly powerful, as Parafusion only gives a 33% chance of attacking and Liepard can set up priority Substitutes whenever it's needed. This strategy works best when combined with entry hazard support, as it tends to force many switches.
If you do not know, Belly Drum sacrifices half of your maximum HP while maximizing your Attack. Belly Drum maximizes by enough to OHKO (One Hit Knock Out) most Pokémon. Belly Drum followed by Rest means that you will replenish your HP sacrificed, making you an awesome Sweeper. Usually, BellyRest involves using a Mint Berry or a Chesto Berry to restore the Sleep Status Effect.
This strategy requires exact timing. If you spot its weakness, taking away half of you HP and giving your opponent a chance to attack isn't fun. This is why most of the time, you have to predict a switch and use Belly Drum. Also, you can induce a Sleep/Paralyze Status Effect, and/or the Confusion/Attract Status Problem. This way, you are lowering the chances your opponent has of attacking, or forcing a switch, giving you a free Belly Drum. Here is an example:
Turn 1: You send out Starmie. Opponent sends out Milotic.
Turn 2: You call back Starmie. You send out Snorlax.
Enemy Milotic uses Calm Mind. Milotic's Special Attack rose! Milotic's Special Defense rose!
(Milotic cannot faint Snorlax because Snorlax's Special Defense is too high)
Turn 3: Opponent calls back Milotic. Opponent sends out Aggron
(Your opponent hopes to Roar away Snorlax's expected Curses)
Snorlax uses Belly Drum. Snorlax cuts its HP in half to maximize its Attack!
Now, Aggron cannot roar because Snorlax will OHKO it. This is now the realm of guessing work as to if Snorlax will use Return, Brick Break, or Earthquake. If Snorlax can Rest, then it will be almost unstoppable. However, once again, you need to time this. Note that it is best to use this at the end of a battle, when it's more likely that there are fewer Pseudo-Hazers that could Roar or Whirlwind away your Belly Drumer. The best combination to use this with would be a Brave Marill with the ability Huge Power.
Parafusion hurts, literally. This is the strategy of using both Paralysis and Confusion, giving your opponent a 33% chance to attack! This is best used with Seismic Toss since you need a Pokémon with good defenses to be able to survive using both of these moves, and Seimic Toss always deals 100 HP off your opponent (assuming your team members are Lv. 100) no matter what the user's Attack stat is. The last slot is probably Rest, Shadow Ball, or Attract.
 Swagger + Psych Up, Flatter + Psych Up
Swagger confuses the opponent and raises its Attack by two stages. Flatter confuses the opponent and raises its Special Attack by two stages. Psych Up copies all of the Stat Changes that your opponent has, and if you raised your opponent's Attack or Special Attack, then you can copy it. Note that you do not copy your opponent's Confusion since that is a Status Problem. This is a way to boost up your Attack or Special Attack if you cannot learn Swords Dance or Tail Glow. Umbreon is a good candidate for Swagger + Psych Up. Its defenses are so high that it doesn't mind raising its opponent's Attack. No Pokémon can legally have both Flatter and Psych Up, so you might want to switch out then Psych Up your opponent.
Note that Psych Up by itself is extremely good. Predict a Belly Drummer, Psych Up, and you'll be Belly Drummed without losing half of your maximum HP!
Choice Band raises your Attack by 1.5x but it only allows you to use one attack only until you switch out. Trick switches your item with your opponent's. However, if you Trick Choice Band with a non-Physical Sweeper, then your opponent is forced to use the move that had used against you while you used Trick. Choice Band is great, but not on Starmie and Ludicolo. This strategy will seriously hinder your opponent's strategy.
A good TrickBander is Alakazam, since it has great Speed to allow it to pull it off. Notice that you no longer have Choice Band, so you are not required to use Trick again. It's a neat strategy that does not require a lot of anticipation.
Thief is an interesting move, but it tends to have a very complex strategy. There are only several items worth stealing, and those are items that the Pokémon's moveset depends upon. For example, Snorlax is not as useful if it loses its Chesto Berry. This can backfire, because if your opponent doesn't have that kind of Pokémon, then your Pokémon with Thief is really useless. You can steal Leftovers, but that's about it.
One example is Lum Berry. If you steal Lum Berry then Burn a Gyarados through Will-o-Wisp, then Gyarados's Attack halves, greatly disabling its Sweeping abilities. Note that Lum Berry will cure any Status Effect inflicted on Gyarados, such as Burn.
Another example is to steal Choice Band. If you recall, it multiplies every physical damage by 1.5x, so you just lowered the Attack of a good Sweeper, like Heracross. Note that the other option for Heracross is Leftovers or Salac Berry, but if you steal Choice Band, then it cannot have Leftovers nor Salac Berry! Heracross is now just a mediocre Sweeper. Be careful though, since you have to switch out your Pokémon using Thief because Choice Band will force it to use Thief again. Also, make sure that the Choice Band stealer is also a Sweeper, so it can actually use Choice Band when it switches in again.
So how do you know if your opponent's Gyarados has a Lum Berry or if your opponent's Heracross has a Choice Band? You don't. This is why Thief is only used by experts who have great anticipation skills, and yes, it can be very effective. However, Pokémon with the ability Frisk have the power to see their opponent's held item!
This move is evil...very evil. It's similar to Psych Up, but, unlike Psych Up, it steals your opponent's Status Changes instead of copying. Also, it can steal Substitutes, surprising those Annoyers. Just wait until Suicune uses Calm Mind 3 times while you act like you don't know what's going on, then use Snatch and leave your opponent crying. Note that Snatch always go second, so you cannot start off a round be stealing someone that was done before. You steal at the end of the round, so make sure to Snatch before your opponent gets a chance to attack.
 Perish Trapping
In RSE/FRLG, this works best with two Pokémon. Those two canditates are usually an Umbreon Baton Passing Mean Look to someone who knows Perish Song and a healing move or Protect. Some good Candidates are Lapras, Wigglituff, Celebi, Altaria, and Misdreavus. In the old days of GSC, Lapras used to Whirlpool to keep the opponent in its place, and Misdreavus used to Mean Look. Now, both of those moves would waste so much time and Lapras and Misdreavus would faint before setting up Perish Trapping.
Alternatively, in B/W: Dream World Murkrow with Prankster. Equip Murkrow with Eviolite for survival. Use the move Mean Look to keep the opponent in place. Then, use Perish Song, Substitute, and Roost! Switch out when your perish count is at 1, for the opponent cannot while under the effect of Mean Look.
 ChestoRest, LumRest
ChestoRest is Rest + Chesto Berry attached. This gives you a free 100% HP Recovery. Use it when you think you will faint (but time it so you don't faint). LumRest is Rest + Lum Berry attached. This is a strategy in the Third Generation because of Will-O-Wisp alone. True that you can Rest the Burn Status Effect off, but if you're a Physical Sweeper, then you certainly don't want your Attack halved.
 Rain Dance + Thunder (ThunderDance)
An effect of Rain Dance is that Thunder will never miss. Think about it...Lightning appears in storms, right? Anyways, you can have someone from your team use Rain Dance and make your team benefit from it. For example, use water Pokémon, Pokémon with Hydro Pump, Pokémon with Thunder, and Pokémon with the Rain Dish or Swift Swim Trait.
 Sunny Day + Solarbeam (SunnyBeam)
An effect of Sunny Day is that Solarbeam will not require a charge. Remember that Solarbeam takes in sunlight on the first turn, then attacks on the second. Now, it just attacks because Sunny Day provides the sunlight that Solarbeam needs. You can also include fire Pokémon, Pokémon with Fire Blast, Exeggutor (because of the Chlorophyll Trait), and of course, someone with Solarbeam. Another good addition to these two moves is Synthesis. While Sunny Day is active, Synthesis will heal the user by 2/3 of its maximum health instead of its usual 1/2 health. Chlorophyll is also an excellent ability to have with Sunny Day. It doubles the user's speed while Sunny Day is active. Tropius is an excellent pokémon to have all of these moves. Along with its egg move, Leech Seed, it can be a very powerful pokémon. Groudon is another excellent choice because it can learn solarbeam naturally or from a TM. It also has the 'Drought' ability, which ensures constant sunlight. The advantage of this is that the user does not have to waste a turn using Sunny Day, and can go straight to the solarbeam.
 Leech Seed + Ingrain + Toxic + Protect + Leftovers
Ingrain restores HP every turn, and so does Leech Seed and the item Leftovers. With Toxic and Protect all you have to do is stall until your opponent dies of Toxic. In addition, Protect restore your Pokemon's health with leftover. Best of all Toxic and Protect are TM's that all Pokemon learn. Obviously, this is an Annoyer/Drainer to the max. Ingrain also means your opponent cannot Roar or Whirlwind you out, because your roots are implanted in the ground. (big root is even better than leftovers in this case seeing as how it let's you regain more health from ingrain and leach seed)
 Spore + Focus Punch
Breloom is famous for this. It is fast enough to use Spore, sending your opponent to sleep 100% of the time. Then, it uses Focus Punch, because your opponent cannot attack and make Focus Punch lose power. That means your opponent has to switch in order not to get annihilated, but when they switch, they don't attack, and your Breloom gets a free Focus Punch no matter what.
This only has two weaknesses:
- Ghost Pokémon can effectively bypass Focus Punch.
- Pokémon with the abilities Early Bird or Insomnia will be able to stop Focus Punch.
Be aware of these two factors when using this strategy.
 Rest + Sleep Talk
This is so annoying, because you have to defeat a Sleep Talker in three rounds or less to prevent it from using Rest again. Sleep Talk attacks while asleep, so coupled with Return and Earthquake, it could cause lots of damage while not being KO'd easily.
 Toxic + Spikes + Sandstorm (TSS)
This is consists of a team that purely annoys. You mainly damage by Toxic, Spikes, and Sandstorm via using Roar or Whirlwind to force being hurt by Sandstorm. However, remember that Sandstorm damages both sides, and Rock, Steel, and Ground Pokémon don't get damaged. Because of this, Suicune can sometimes destroy a TSS team because it has high defenses and is able to Surf its way out of it.
 Swords Dance/Bulk Up/Calm Mind + Salac Berry
Swords Dance, Bulk Up, or Calm Mind gets you ready to become a sweeper, and when your HP gets low, Salac Berry will increase your Speed so you can attack first with boosted up stats.
 Agility + Petaya Berry/Leichi Berry
First use Agility, then start attacking. When your health is low, your Attack or Special Attack increases and you have a better chance of fainting your opponent easier. Metagross can use this strategy somewhat well.
 Wish + Baton Pass (WishPass)
First, use Wish. Then, use Baton Pass and pass it to a Pokémon with low health. Since Wish can be Baton Passed, the low health Pokémon will be healed.
Note: Wish heals the Pokemon that is in play when the wish comes true, baton pass or not. The baton pass tries to make sure that the Pokemon using wish is the one that gets hit by the opponent that turn instead of the one you are switching in.
Pseudo-Passing is to pass an effect created by one Pokémon to the next without the use of Baton Pass. This is really impossible except for 4 moves: Reflect, Light Screen, Safeguard, and Tailwind. When these moves are used, a barrier that halves Physical attacks, a barrier that halves Special attacks, and a barrier that stops all Status Effects and Status Problems, repectively, will be formed. These barries will stay for five turns, unless the move Brick Break was performed by your opponent to knock out these barriers. Even if you switch out the user, these barriers still stays, so their effects also stay. Tailwind gives all the other pokemon it your party a speed boost.
 Mimic + Imprison
Use Mimic then select the move that you don't want your opponent to do. Then, use Imprison, and your opponent cannot use that move anymore. This strategy isn't worth of use because two move slots are spent and your opponent can easily switch his/her Pokemon.
 Sleep Status Effect + Stat Boosts
When you put your opponent to sleep, it will rarely stay in. You can expect a switch on the next turn, so this is called a free turn. You can use whatever move you want without being damaged. Some trainers use this time to use Substitute, Calm Mind, Swords Dance, or Confusion. The point is, this is the perfect time to set up a combination. Milotic can use Hypnosis then Rain Dance. It can also Calm Mind and use Surf the next turn for at least 50% damage (unless it's not very effective). Avoid putting Snorlax or other Pokémon that you think might have Sleep Talk to sleep.
 Substitute/Protect + Speed Boost
Ninjask has a great Trait called Speed Boost. Every turn, Ninjask's Speed will raise by one stage. The problem is, Ninjask is already the fastest Pokémon in the game (besides Deoxys-Emerald) and it literally cannot take a hit. However, it can Baton Pass the Speed Boosts, but first, it needs to survive. Using Substitute or Protect ensures that Ninjask won't take too much damage (in the case of Substitute, 25% of its maximum HP). However, while Protect ensures 100% Evasion, using Protect twice lowers its accuracy to 50%, so it's pretty risky. If you think that Ninjask can take a hit from a Pokémon (by giving it Defense/Special Defense EVs, or attaching a focus sash in D/P) then you can use Protect, Swords Dance, Protect, Baton Pass. It's generally better, however, to use Substitute.
 Swagger + Screech
When you hurt yourself in Confusion, your Attack stat attacks your own Defense stat. For this reason, Swagger, which raises the opponent's Attack and confuses it, is dangerous. What's worse is Screech going along with it. It lowers your opponent's defense, so you can have a field day when your opponent hurts itself.
 Defense Curl + Rollout
The only reason that this combination is on here is because of Shuckle. If you use Defense Curl, then Rollout's damage will double. This means that Rollout used by Shuckle will do 1,440 damage instead of 720 damage. This isn't a lot of damage since Shuckle's base Attack stat is 10, with 100 and above being average for a good Physical Sweeper. Of course, this is dangerous, so only someone with awesome defense like Shuckle can pull this off.
 Mean Look + Spore + Lock-On + Sheer Cold
Since FishMew (Mew with Fissure + Horn Drill + Rest + Sleep Talk) isn't legal in the Third Generation, this is the other cheap OHKO tactic only to be used legally by Smeargle. This doesn't work, because Smeargle has too low defenses. However, if Mean Look is passed to Smeargle, then you have something going on here. Lock-On + Sheer Cold is 100% OHKO, Mean Look prevents your opponent from switching, and Spore prevents your opponent from murdering Smeargle.
A similar strategy is possible with Articuno as it can learn both Mind Reader and Sheer Cold and has much better stats. This can also work nicely with subtitute or roost in that case, and at least in 3rd generation Poliwrath could learn both those moves as well, though that may have changed since.
 PoisonPowder + Leech Seed
If you chose Bulbasaur as your starter in FireRed or LeafGreen, then you should use this, because Bulbasaur learns leech seed at level 7, and it learns PoisonPowder at level 15, so if you train Bulbasaur up to level 15 to battle brock, then this would be a perfect strategy, but PoisonPowder and other Poison-Type moves don't affect Poison-Type Pokémon, so you can't use this strategy on Koga or other trainers with poison types.
 Hidden Power
Hidden Power is used in many ways:
a) To provide a damaging move if the highest damaging move of that type is less than 70 power.
Scizor is a Baton Passer usually, but it still needs a damaging attack. Scizor can use Silver Wind, which is a good attack in because Silver Wind can raise all of Scizor's stats. If it raises all of its stats, then that would be a very good thing to Baton Pass! However, some people do not have the patience to breed for Silver Wind, so they might use Hidden Power [Bug], which is a good alternative.
b) To cover weaknesses.
Zapdos is a good Pokémon. It is an extremely good annoyer with Substitute + Thunder Wave. However, to Swampert, neither Thunder Wave nor Thunderbolt can work, so Zapdos wants a way to hurt it. Using Hidden Power [Grass] is a good idea.
c) To have a damaging attack.
Believe it or not, but some Pokémon, like Aggron, have a terrible moveset when it comes to giving it damaging moves. For this reason, an Aggron with Choice Band would be likely to have Hidden Power [Rock] or Hidden Power [Steel].
Roar and Whirlwind are Pseudo-Hazing moves. If you force your opponent to switch, then its Status Changes are gone. However, there are more ways. The most common Pseudo-Hazing moves are:
a) Roar and Whirlwind
These moves force switching, so they are the most popular.
b) Status Ailments
Somewhat hinted above, moves such as Sleep Powder, Attract, and Confuse Ray usually make the opponent switch. The reason is, you don't want a Sleeping Pokémon in battle and you also don't want someone with a 25% chance of attacking in battle. Note that Paralysis and Burn also works somewhat, but Tankers and Walls normally stay in.
Yawn is a move that makes the opponent go to sleep 100% the next move, but not immediately. Your opponent knows that his or her Pokémon will go to sleep, so they usually switch out, giving you a free turn.
d) Leech Seed
Again, no one wants to be Leech Seeded, so they switch out if they think that they are not able to KO the user.
e) Perish Song
Not all uses of Perish Song are Perish Trapping. Your opponent surely doesn't want to be fainted, so they will switch out before the count ends. Perish Song without Mean Look is a hint that you are not wanted.
f) Mind Reader or Lock-On
These moves make the next move have 100% Accuracy, and most Pokémon will be switched out. The reason is because an OHKO move is expected, or something that could be annoying such as Zap Cannon or Dynamicpunch.
 Unexpected moves
With this trick, a Plusle can defeat a Blissey. The secret? Plusle can learn Iron Tail. Watch...
You send out Plusle! Enemy sends out Skarmory!
(Skarmory will NOT stay in for Plusle, usually Plusles are Special Sweepers with Thunderbolt. Not good for Skarms.)
Enemy calls back Skarmory! Enemy sends out Blissey! Plusle used Iron Tail!
Plusle is mainly a special sweeper. Who would expect a special sweeper to have Iron Tail? Although Plusle's Special Attack is much better than its attack, Physical attacks are much better than Special Attacks on a Blissey. Magmortar, Roserade, and Electivire are other examples of this trick (in Generation IV onwards). Plusle isn't recommended to use in competetive battles because its stats are very poor.
 Electivire + Jolteon + Abilities + Discharge = Easy Sweeps!
There is also a combination tactic that is very powerful and useful. It requires a high Special Attack on an Electivire and also on a Jolteon. First, teach them both Discharge. In a double battle, have them both use discharge. This will naturally (because of volt absorb) heal Jolteon from Electivires discharge, and Electivire will increase speed because of motor drive from Jolteon's discharge. As a result, the two opponent pokemon will take both the damage from discharges from both Electivire and Jolteon (unless one of the opponent's pokemon ability is Lightningrod). A counter for this tactic is to use two ground type Pokémon (if facing two ground types, teach Electivire Ice Punch). If you like electric types, try out this tactic!
 Frisk + Embargo
Frisk will identify the opponent's item, and Embargo prevents it from being used. A suprisingly effective stragtegy, potentially eliminating any threat to your team. Users include: Banette, Stantler, and Gothitelle.