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This article is devoted to the different effects of Pokémon moves. There are moves that deal damage, and those that do not (some are said to deal indirect damage). A moveset is defined as all of the moves (maximum of four) that your Pokémon have. The goal of this information is to improve your ability to select the best moves for your Pokémon's movesets. Note that much of the information presented here is an analytical study of Pokémon statistics.
- 1 Type Alignment Advantages
- 2 Move Variety
- 3 Area Effects
- 4 Status Effects
- 5 Status Problems
- 6 Stat Changes
- 7 Other Moves
- 7.1 Haze
- 7.2 Roar and Whirlwind
- 7.3 Baton Pass
- 7.4 Mean Look, Block, and Spider Web
- 7.5 Substitute
- 7.6 Fire Spin, Whirlpool, Wrap, etc.
- 7.7 Rapid Spin
- 7.8 Perish Song
- 7.9 Protect and Detect
- 7.10 Double Slap, Rock Blast, Bullet Seed, etc.
- 7.11 Fly, Dig, Dive, etc.
- 7.12 Thunder, Twister, Sky Uppercut, and Gust
- 7.13 Earthquake, Magnitude and Surf
- 7.14 Endure
- 7.15 Swift and Faint Attack
- 7.16 Dream Eater and Nightmare
- 7.17 Counter and Mirror Coat
- 7.18 Headbutt, Rock Slide, Bite, etc.
- 7.19 Future Sight and Doom Desire
- 7.20 Quick Attack, Mach Punch, Aqua Jet, Shadow Sneak, Vacuum Wave, Ice Shard, Bullet Punch, and Extremespeed
- 7.21 Heal Bell and Aromatherapy
- 7.22 Refresh
- 7.23 Aeroblast, Slash, Cross Chop, Leaf Blade, etc...
- 7.24 Rest
- 7.25 Outrage, Thrash, and Petal Dance
- 7.26 Toxic
- 8 Conclusion
Type Alignment Advantages
Don't be scared about the terminology, it merely means "which types have the advantage over which types." For every type that your move is "super-effective" against, the power of the attack is increased by 2x. If a move is super-effective against a type, then the move's type is stronger than the Pokémon's type that is taking the hit. For example, Ember is a Fire type. Charmander (type: Fire) uses Ember against a Bulbasaur (type: Grass/Poison). Ember's base power if 40. When used, Ember's power will become: 40 (base power) x 1.5 (STAB) x 2 (Fire is strong against Grass) =120 power. See how choosing the right attacks can deal more damage to certain Pokémon? If your move is "not very effective" against a Pokémon, then that means your move's type is weak against the Pokémon's type that is taking the hit. In this situation, the move's power is halved, or is multiplied by 0.5x. For example, Charmander uses Ember against a Squirtle. When used, Ember's power will be: 40 (base power) x 1.5 (STAB) x 0.5 (Fire is weak against Water)= 30 power. (x 0.5 is the same as ÷ 2) Be careful, as there are some moves that do no damage (x 0) to a type. For example, Normal attacks are useless against a Ghost Pokémon, such as Gengar. See how using the same move (Ember) deals different amounts of damage to different Pokémon? Type Alignment Advantages must be memorized, as they are very important when fighting a Pokémon. How do you know which type is strong or weak against which? You would have to memorize it. They are as follows:
Table for Pokémon
|Type||It's super effective!||It's not very effective...||Immune|
|Fire||Grass, Ice, Bug, Steel||Fire, Water, Rock, Dragon||None|
|Water||Fire, Ground, Rock||Water, Grass, Dragon||None|
|Electric||Water, Flying||Electric, Grass, Dragon||Ground|
|Grass||Water, Ground, Rock||Fire, Grass, Poison, Flying, Bug, Dragon, Steel||None|
|Ice||Grass, Ground, Flying, Dragon||Fire, Water, Ice, Steel||None|
|Fighting||Normal, Ice, Rock, Dark, Steel||Poison, Flying, Psychic, Bug||Ghost|
|Poison||Grass, (Bug RBY), Fairy||Poison, Ground, Rock, Ghost||Steel|
|Ground||Fire, Electric, Poison, Rock, Steel||Grass, Bug||Flying|
|Flying||Grass, Fighting, Bug||Electric, Rock, Steel||None|
|Psychic||Fighting, Poison||Psychic, Steel||Dark|
|Bug||Grass, Psychic, Dark, (Poison RBY)||Fire, Fighting, (Poison GSC/RSE/FRLG), Flying, Ghost, Steel||None|
|Rock||Fire, Ice, Flying, Bug||Fighting, Ground, Steel||None|
|Ghost||(Psychic GSC/RSE/FRLG), Ghost||Dark, Steel||Normal, (Psychic RBY)|
|Dark||Psychic, Ghost||Fighting, Dark, Steel, Fairy||None|
|Steel||Ice, Rock, Fairy||Fire, Water, Electric, Steel||None|
|Fairy||Dark, Dragon, Fighting||Fire, Poison, Steel||None|
It's a pain to memorize this chart if you're a starter, but if you know which moves beats which types, then you will deal a lot more damage! Before we move on, don't forget that some Pokémon have two types, and Type Alignment Advantages can be stacked with each other and other damage multipliers. Let's say Charmander uses Ember on a Paras(type: Bug/Grass and scores a Critical Hit. Ember's power will be: 40 (base power) x 1.5 (STAB) x 2 (Fire is strong against Bug) x 2 (Fire is strong against Grass) x 2 (Critical Hit) = 480 damage.
Wow, that's a lot of damage! If you encounter a Charmander with your Paras, switch right away to a Fire, Water, Rock, or Dragon type immediately! These types resist Fire, and Paras falls. Now that you know the basics are Type Alignment Advantages, let's try to organize four moves that best fit your Pokémon.
It is recommended that you vary your moves. If you do this, you will get more coverage, meaning you will hit more Pokémon with super-effective attacks and fewer Pokémon with not very effective attacks. If your Charmander was fighting a Dratini (type: Dragon) and all Charmander has are Fire attacks, then it will be very weak against Dratini! Let's say your teach your Charmander Body Slam (type: Normal). This way, you have an attack that deals normal damage against Dratini instead of not very effective damage. The point is, one Fire move is enough. If you meet a Grass Pokémon, you only need one Fire attack, not four. The more varied your moves are, the more cumulative damage output it has. Although this section is very brief, the remaining sections of this guide will constantly refer back to Move Variety.
It is important to talk about this before anything else. Area Effects affect the game greatly. They can increase the power of certain types of moves, decrease it, power up healing moves, prevent certain situations to happen, or even do damage. There are six moves that inflict Area Effects. They are a) Sunny Day, b) Rain Dance, c) Sandstorm, d) Hail, e) Mist, and f) Spikes.
Using Sunny Day will:
- Give a 1.5x boost to all Fire Attacks
- Decrease the power of all Water Attacks by half
- Solarbeam requires no charge (more on this later)
- Thunder accuracy is reduced to 50%
- The powers of the attacks Moonlight, Morning Sun, and Synthesis are doubled. (more on this later)
- Pokémon with the Ability "Chlorophyll" have doubled Speed. (more on this later)
- Pokémon with the Ability "Solar Power" have 1.5x Sp.Atk and lose HP every turn
- The type of the attack Weatherball changes to Fire. (more on this later)
- The last Area Effect is overridden.
- Castform changes to Fire type.
- The move growth has the stat boost doubled.
Using Rain Dance will:
- Give a 1.5x boost to all Water Attacks
- Decrease the power of all Fire Attacks by half
- Solarbeam power is reduced by half. (more on this later)
- Thunder and Hurricane will always hit.
- The powers of the attacks Moonlight, Morning Sun, and Synthesis are halved. (more on this later)
- Pokémon with the Ability "Swift Swim" have doubled Speed. (more on this later)
- Pokémon with the Ability "Rain Dish" recovers some HP every turn. (more on this later)
- The type of the attack Weatherball changes to Water. (more on this later)
- The last Area Effect is overridden.
- Castform changes to Water type.
Using Sandstorm will:
- Hurt all Pokémon on the field that are not Rock-, Ground-, and/or Steel-types.
- The type of the attack Weatherball changes to Rock. (more on this later)
- The last Area Effect is overridden.
- The Special Defense of Rock-type Pokémon is raised by 50%.
Using Hail will:
- Hurt all Pokémon on the field that are not Ice-types.
- The type of the attack Weatherball changes to Ice. (more on this later)
- The last Area Effect is overridden.
- Castform changes to Ice-type.
- Blizzard hit percentage becomes 100%
Using Mist will:
- Prevent all Status Changes. (more on this later)
- The last Area Effect is overridden.
Using Spikes will
- Hurt your opponent on switch-ins.
- Can be used up to three times.
- One layer of spikes will take away 1/8 of the opponent's HP on switch-ins, two will take away 1/6, and three will take away 1/4
- Will stay indefinitely unless "Rapid Spin" is used
- Will not change current Area Effect.
- Will not affect Pokémon that aren't grounded (i.e., Flying type Pokémon or Pokémon with the Levitate ability)
Remember, if your Pokémon uses one of those moves listed above, then you should be more careful about what the Area Effect is. Just as above, as more information is revealed, these Area Effects will play a larger role. For example: If you have a Meganium with the moves solarbeam, sunny day, earthquake, and synthesis, consider giving it a heat rock, for the sun will last longer if a heat rock is added.
Remember how Ice Punch's special effect was a 10% of inflicting the Freeze status to your opponent? Besides Faint, there are five Status Effects: Freeze, Burn, Sleep, Paralyze, and Poison. Status Effects stays with that Pokémon even if it switches out, so beware of these effects. Note that while you are inflicted with one Status Effect, your opponent cannot inflict another Status Effect on you. In addition, there are certain Pokémon whose ability allow them to cure their status effect upon switching out. For example, the popular special wall Blissey, or the special sweeper Starmie can both have the ability Natural Cure, which rids them of their Freeze, Burn, Sleep, Paralyze, and Poison without the aid of a berry. However, this ability only comes into play upon switching out to another Pokémon, so waiting too long to switch out with a burn or poison is not advisable.
When you have the Freeze status, you cannot attack at all (unless the move happens to be Sacred Fire, or Flame Wheel) and you have to wait until you defrost or use certain moves to defrost yourself. Other Pokémon (opponent or friendly) can also defrost you, and certain items can defrost you. If Sunny Day is in play, you cannot get the Freeze condition. Also, switching to a Pokémon, using Sunny Day, then switching back to the frozen Pokémon will result in your Pokémon becoming defrosted. You will also be defrosted if your opponent attacks you with any Fire-type move or the move Scald. If Fire Spin, Flame Wheel, or Sacred Fire is used by the frozen Pokémon or its opponent, then the frozen Pokémon will be defrosted. If you have another Pokémon in your party that knows Heal Bell or Aromatherapy, then you can switch to that Pokémon, use that move, and your frozen Pokémon will be defrosted. This is the worst Status Effect since there is little you can do to become defrosted. Having a Burnt Berry, Miracleberry, Aspear Berry, or Lum Berry attached will cure this Status Effect. More about Items Attachment later.
When you have the Burn status, your Attack halves and you lose HP every round. This is a bad thing, since Pokémon that rely heavily on Physical Attacks will not perform well at all. However, curing the Burn status is much easier. As with the above, Heal Bell and Aromatherapy will work, but the burned Pokémon can use it too, since, unlike the Frozen Pokémon, burned Pokémon can still use moves. The move Refresh rids the user of Burn, Paralyze, and Poison. Also, using Rest would change your Status Effect to Sleep and you would no longer be burned. Information on the move "Rest" will be provided later on. Note that you cannot use Refresh or Rest with the Freeze status because you cannot move. Burn does not have a duration, so you cannot wait it out. Having an Ice Berry, Miracleberry, Rawst Berry, or Lum Berry attached will cure this Status Effect.
Note: You can use the move "Rest" to inflict the Sleep Status Effect upon yourself. Resting completely heals you at the cost of sleeping through your next two turns.
When you have the Sleep status, you go to sleep and cannot use most moves. Just like the Freeze status, it is random how long you will be sleeping for, but you'll be asleep for at least 2 turns and the most 5 turns. There are two moves that you can use while sleeping: Sleep Talk and Snore. Sleep Talk randomly uses a move in your moveset (besides Sleep Talk) while being asleep. Snore (type: Normal) has a base power of 40. By using Sleep Talk, you can Sleep Talk Heal Bell and Aromatherapy to get rid of the Sleep Status Effect, but you cannot use those moves directly. More about self-inflicted Sleep and the move "Rest" later on. Having a Mint Berry, Miracleberry, Chesto Berry, or Lum Berry attached will cure this Status Effect.
When you have the Paralyze status, you have a one in four chances of being "fully paralyzed" and not attack. Paralysis cuts your Pokémon's speed to 25% of its original speed, probably ensuring that you'll attack second! Just as above, you can use Heal Bell, Aromatherapy, Refresh, or Rest to get rid of this Status Effect. Paralysis doesn't have a duration, so you cannot wait it out. Having PRZCureBerry, Miraclebery, Cheri Berry, or Lum Berry attached will cure this Status Effect.
Note: Pokémon that has Poison and/or Steel as (one of) its type(s) cannot be poisoned, except by the move "Twineedle" in Generation II. In later generations, the move cannot poison Poison- or Steel-type Pokémon.
This one splits into two categories: being poisoned or badly poisoned. Besides Poisonpowder, there are moves that have a chance of inflicting the status Poison. This type of Poison is only normal Poison, and will steadily decrease your HP every round. If you are poisoned by the move "Toxic," then you are inflicted with Toxic Poison, which is still the Status Effect Poison, but stronger than normal. This type of Poison is deadly, since you lose more HP for every round you've been poisoned! Even if you switch out, the count does not reset, but you do not lose HP if you are switched out. Just as above, you can use Heal Bell, Aromatherapy, Refresh, or Rest to get rid of this Status Effect. Having PSNCureBerry, Miracleberry, Pecha Berry, or Lum Berry attached will cure this Status Effect.
Status Problems are similar to Status Effects, but they go away if you switch out the inflicted Pokémon. Also, many Status Problems can be inflicted upon a Pokémon at the same time. In summary, you can inflict one Status Effect and many Status Problems on a single Pokémon, until their durations expire. Status Effects and Status Problems are usually referred to together as Status Abnormalities. This list contains the most common Status Problems, although there are more.
Confusion is probably the most popular Status Problem. When you're confused, you have a 50% chance of attacking, and if you don't attack, you hurt yourself. That's not a good thing at all. To clarify, you do not attack yourself with the move you selected, but rather your own Attack stat attacks your Defense stat. Knowing, this, Pokémon with a high Attack tend to hurt themselves more when confused and vice-versa. However, unlike Paralysis, Confusion only lasts for 2 to 5 turns. You can use Heal Bell or Aromatherapy to get rid of the Confusion Status Problem, but remember that you don't have to switch to a Pokémon with these moves. When you switch Pokémon, all Status Problems go away. Note that Refresh only works with Paralyze, Poison, and Burn. Having a Bitter Berry, Miracleberry, Persim Berry, or Lum Berry attached will cure this Status Problem.
Note: Grass Pokémon cannot be inflicted with this Status Problem.
There's no doubt about it; this move is extremely annoying. While it reduces your opponent's HP every turn, the user actually gets healed by the HP that the opponent loses. This is deadly, especially if you leech high HP Pokémon like Snorlax or Blissey. There is no way to get rid of Leech Seed unless you switch out or use the move Rapid Spin.
Note: You cannot infatuate a Pokémon that has the same gender as the user or if the Pokémon has no gender.
When you use Attract on a Pokémon, it become infatuated, or attracted to the user. Note that your opponent has to have the opposite gender from yours. When you're charmed, you have a 50% chance of attacking and a 50% chance of not attacking. There is no penalty for not attacking, but Attract lasts indefinitely. There is no way to get rid of Attract unless you switch out.
When you Disable a Pokémon, one of its move, chosen randomly in generation 1, in all other generations the last move used will be selected, cannot be used for some amount of time. This can be frustrating because, obviously, it limits your movepool. However, you can wait until the Disable goes away, or, if that Pokémon cannot function with that move disabled, you may switch.
When you Taunt a Pokémon, it can only use moves that deal damage. If you are one of those people who only use attacking moves and not moves that deal Status Abnormalities, then you won't mind. However, there are many strategies with Taunt, and it will be described later on. Unfortunately, if you've created one of your Pokémon to only know status and support moves, once it is taunted, it will be forced to use Struggle until the Taunt wears off (after 2-3 turns) or if you switch your taunted Pokémon out. This can be a hindrance if you were trying to set up passive damage moves such as stealth rock, toxic spikes/spikes, or if you were boosting stats (through moves such as agility or swords dance) to baton pass to another team member.
A Pokémon affected by Torment cannot use the same move two turns in a row. Like all other status problems, it wears off if the Pokémon switches out, but it will naturally wear after 3-5 turns. If a different move cannot be used on a consecutive turn for any reason, the target Pokémon will default to using struggle.
When you Imprison a Pokémon, it cannot use moves that the user has. There is no way to get rid of Imprison unless you switch out.
When you use Encore, your opponent will be forced to use the move it used last again. If it works well, then keeping the encored Pokémon in will not be an advantage, so you must switch. Encore only lasts 2 to 6 turns though, so you can wear it out if you want. Note that while under the effects of encore, the move's PP is still lowered every turn. If the move's PP reaches 0 before encore wears off, you will be forced to use struggle.
(The term "Status Ailments" usually talks about both Status Effects and Stat Changes)
Stat Changes deal with the actual stats of your Pokémon. If you guessed it, Stat Changing moves increase or decrease Attack, Defense, Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed. Other stats we haven't talked about yet that can be changed are Accuracy, Evasion, Boost, and Resistance. Besides from the last four, it should be obvious to you what Status Changes do. To articulate on this subject, increasing a stat one stage multiplies the stat by 1.5x, two stages =2x, three stages=2.5x, etc. The highest you can go is six stages= 4x. Using this method, then the reverse is true. Decreasing a stat one stage divides the stat by 1.5x, and etc.. This is simple for the first five stats listed above. For these ones only those moves which best increase or decrease that stat will be listed. Further details will be provided for the last four. The ability Simple will double the strength of these effects, and Baton Pass can be used to keep them while switching.
Some moves only increase/decrease your Attack stat by one stage, but others do so by two stages (sharply increased/decreased)
Increase: Belly Drum, Bulk Up, Curse, Dragon Dance, Meditate, Sharpen, Swagger, Swords Dance
Decrease: Charm, Featherdance, Tickle, Growl
Note: Swagger is an attack that will sharply raise your opponent's attack, but cause them confusion. This is a double edged sword because if the opponent has a berry to heal its status or manages to attack you, it will hurt. However, if it hurts itself in its confusion, it will cause more self-inflicted damage.
Some moves only increase your Defense stat by one stage, but others do so by two stages (sharply increased)
Increase: Acid Armor, Barrier, Bulk Up, Cosmic Power, Curse, Defense Curl, Iron Defense
Decrease: Screech, Tail Whip, Leer, Tickle
- Increase: Tail Glow, Nasty Plot, Calm Mind, Growth, Amnesia,(RBY only)
- Decrease: Captivate (only works on opposite gender)
Note: Flatter is a move that will sharply raise your opponent's special attack but cause them confusion. The special attack boost does not affect confusion damage.
Increase: Amnesia, Cosmic Power, Calm Mind
Decrease: Metal Sound, Fake Tears
Some moves only increase your Speed stat by one stage, but others do so by two stages (sharply increased)
Increase: Agility, Dragon Dance, Rock Polish
Decrease: Cotton Spore, Scary Face
Accuracy denotes the probability of a move hitting you. Decreasing Accuracy one stage decreases the original accuracy of the incoming move to 67.4%, two stages to 53.3%, three stages to 42.5%, four stages to 40.4%, five stages to 32.9%, and six stages to 28.4%. These values are experimental values, but they should be a close estimate. Higher power moves generally have lower accuracy along with lower PP.
Increase: Foresight, Haze, Lock-On, Odor Sleuth, Hone Claws
Decrease: Flash, Mud Slap, Octazooka, Sand- Attack, Smokescreen
Note: Some Pokémon (mainly flying types) have the ability Keen Eye, which protects their Accuracy from being lowered.
Evasion is how well you evade or dodge an attack. Increasing Evasion one stage decreases the original accuracy of the incoming move. If an opponent increases its evasion, then you will have a harder time hitting the opponent.
Increase: Double Team, Minimize
Decrease: Foresight, Haze
Note that in competitive battling, there are rules against raising your own evasion, due to the fact that many competitive battlers feel that it only makes the battle drag on for too long.
Boost is when you raise the power of one type of move. For example, "Charge" increases the power of Electric attacks. It is generally not recommended that you use boosting moves, since, unlike moves that raises Attack or Special Attack, this only benefits one type.
Resistance is when you raise your resistance to the power of one type of move. For example, Mud Sport decreases the power of Electric attacks used against you. Resistance moves are not usually a good idea, since your opponent will likely have more than one type of move.
There are other moves that do not fit the above descriptions. We will analyze them here.
This is one of the most important concepts in the game, although not the most important move. Have you wondered what would happen if your opponent uses Swords Dance three times? It would be almost impossible to defend against their physical attacks. When you use Haze, every Stat Change on the battling field goes away. That annoying Scyther's Swords Dances are gone and its attack stat is back to normal. Be careful, since it also takes away your own Status Change. That is why it is not recommended to have both Stat Changing moves and Haze in a moveset.
Roar and Whirlwind
These moves are called Pseudo-Hazing, or, for short, PHazing. Pseudo-Hazing means that a move has the effects of Haze without using the move "Haze." When you Roar, you force your opponent to switch (except under special circumstances, which we will talk about later) and, if you recall from above, Stat Changes go away when you switch! This is a clever way to remove your opponent's Stat Changes without Hazing yourself also. Beware, though, that your opponent will have a new Pokémon in, and that Roar and Whirlwind almost always go last. This means you will take a hit from your opponent, so PHaze fast before your opponent gets a chance to attack! Note that Roar will not affect Pokémon with the ability "Soundproof" or "Suction Cups" (more on this later).
Baton Pass is a handy move that could be impossible to beat or could deal you a lot of trouble depending on what Pokémon you have. Baton Pass applies your Stat Changes (listed above) to another Pokémon in your party and automatically switches to that Pokémon. This could be useful: what if a Pokémon with a good Attack doesn't have Swords Dance to raise its Attack some more? Simple! You use Swords Dance on another Pokémon that knows Baton Pass, then Baton Pass to the Pokémon you want its Attack to increase . While this is very useful and can produce unstoppable Pokémon, you have to remember the strategies above (Hazing and PHazing) and not overdo this tactic. One thing to note though. Baton Pass also passes some Status Problems: Substitute (more on this later), Perish Song (more about this later) and Mean Look (more on this later). It's not very nice to Baton Pass Leech Seed to the next Pokémon, since only switching, not Baton Passing, will get rid of Leech Seed.
Mean Look, Block, and Spider Web
Mean Look is a useful move that prevents your opponent from switching out. Spider Web does the same thing, but most battlers refer to both as "Mean Look" or "Trapping". Strategies involving these moves will be dealt with later, but there are a few things that you should know about this move. Using Baton Pass will pass on the Mean Look status to your next Pokémon, prior to Generation V. If the user uses Baton Pass to another Pokémon, then the opponent is still trapped. If your trapped opponent Baton Passes to another Pokémon, then that new Pokémon will still be trapped. This is a good way to prevent Hazing or PHazing, since your opponent cannot switch to a Pokémon with Haze, Roar, or Whirlwind. If you switch out the user, then the trapped opponent will no longer become trapped. The held item Shed Shell will allow you to switch no matter what the opponent has.
Oh my, what a wonderful move. Substitute will sacrifice one-fourth of your HP and create another copy of that Pokémon (with the amount of HP you lost by using the move). The copy will have the same stats as the original, but all hits will be taken by the copy until the so-called Substitute breaks. The Substitute will break after its HP (equal to 1/4 of yours) is reduced to zero. While not very appealing to many beginners, this could save you a lot of time and especially good if you predict that your opponent will switch. If you use Baton Pass with a Substitute in play, then the Substitute will be transferred to the next Pokémon but with the latter Pokémon's stats (except for HP).
Fire Spin, Whirlpool, Wrap, etc.
These moves are very special because they prevent the opponent from switching for 2 to 5 turns. While having not-so-great accuracy and doing little damage, they take away a fraction of your opponent's HP each turn until your opponent is released.
As previously explained, Rapid Spin will blow away Spikes. To clarify, this move will only blow away the Spikes hurting you, not the Spikes you used to hurt the opponent. Also, Rapid Spin will release you from restraining moves such as Fire Spin and Wrap. It also has a little bonus of doing 20 base damage to the enemy. Fire Spin is released from your opponent if the user faints or is withdrawn from battle.
Perish Song can be a weak, easy to avoid move, or it can be very deadly. When Perish Song is used, 3 turns later, all Pokémon on both sides will faint no matter what! This might sound bad, but you can switch out at any time during the count to save your Pokémon. Further strategies about Perish Song will be explained later on.
Protect and Detect
These moves protect the user from any damage done that round. Of course, it won't protect the damage taken by Wrap (and other restraining moves), Hail, Sandstorm, Poison, Burn, and Leech Seed. It seems like a move that stalls time (which it does very well with the help of leftovers, toxic, etc.), but it can be used to predict your opponent's move without losing a lot of HP if that move is indeed super-effective. For example, Magneton uses Protect against a Venusaur. Venusaur uses Earthquake, and Magneton is protected! It is not a waste of move, since you will now probably switch out Magneton to prevent being eradicated by Earthquake, which Magneton has a 4x weakness against. However, every time one of these moves are used consecutively, it's chance of failing increases by 50%. This will not carry over from one of these moves to the other, so a Pokémon knowing both protect and detect could use one after the other without the 50% success drop. Finally, there is a small selection of moves (most notably feint) that will inflict damage regardless of whether protect or detect are used.
Double Slap, Rock Blast, Bullet Seed, etc.
These moves are very weak but they attack several times randomly, 2 to 5, in one turn. It seems like a risk, but these moves are mainly used to break Substitute. Let's say use you Rock Blast and you attack four times. The Substitute breaks on the second Rock Blast, meaning that the last two Rock Blasts will hit your opponent, not the Substitute. If the user has the ability Technician or Skill Link, these moves can become very powerful.
Fly, Dig, Dive, etc.
Fly is a two-turn attack. On the first turn, your Pokémon flies up into the air, avoiding almost all attacks. On the second turn, your Pokémon will attack the enemy for 90 base damage. Dig and Dive do almost the same thing for 80 damage. These moves are mainly used with the item Leftovers attached (more about this later) to slowly heal the user's HP. Beware that some moves do hit while you're Flying, Digging, and Diving. Shadow Force is another similar move- except you cannot be hit. Dig and Shadow Force (and Dive, to a lesser extent) are not advisable, as the enemy can switch to a Pokémon immune to the move.
Thunder, Twister, Sky Uppercut, and Gust
These moves hit Flying Pokémon.
Earthquake, Magnitude and Surf
Earthquake and Magnitude hit Pokémon using Dig, while Surf hits Pokémon using Dive.
After using Endure, your Pokémon will always have at least 1 HP left after your opponent strikes you. However, Sandstorm, Hail, Leech Seed, Poison, and Burn will still damage you. Endure is useful, primarily, because of its synergy with moves like reversal and flail (which deal more damage as the user's HP lessens).
Swift and Faint Attack
Swift hits no matter what. (Pokémon using Protect, Detect, and Substitute, as well as Ghost Pokémon are not affected). Faint Attack hits any Pokémon that is visible on the field. Flying, Digging, and Diving Pokémon are not affected.
Dream Eater and Nightmare
Dream Eater can only be used if your opponent is asleep. It is a Psychic attack that has 100% power while 50% of the HP that your opponent lost heals you. Nightmare is similar, but for every round that your opponent is asleep, it will lose one quarter of its HP. You are not healed when using Nightmare, and you only need to use Nightmare once. These moves wear off if the target Pokémon awakens.
Counter and Mirror Coat
Counter retaliates with double the damage when you are hit by a Physical Attack. Mirror Coat retaliates with double the damage when you are hit by a Special Attack. This sounds great, but if you use Counter and your opponent uses a Special attack, then Counter does nothing. The key here is to predict what your opponent will do. Note that if you faint, you cannot Counter your opponent. Counter and Mirror Coat cause you to move last.
Headbutt, Rock Slide, Bite, etc.
These moves have a chance of causing the opponent to flinch, making them not able to attack for that round only. In order for your opponent to flinch, you need to strike first.
Future Sight and Doom Desire
These moves deal damage in the future, or in several rounds. They do not get STAB, and they do not consider Type Alignment Advantages prior to Generation V.
Quick Attack, Mach Punch, Aqua Jet, Shadow Sneak, Vacuum Wave, Ice Shard, Bullet Punch, and Extremespeed
These moves always attack first. If both Pokémon use one of these eight, then the one with the highest Speed strikes first. Even though Quick Attack and Mach Punch do little damage, they can be used quite effectively with the right strategy.
Heal Bell and Aromatherapy
These moves are almost on the bottom of the list mainly because they've been brought up frequently. As described before, they get rid of Status Effects and Status Problems on your entire party.
As above, this move has been discussed. It heals the Burn, Poison, and Paralyze Status Effects.
Aeroblast, Slash, Cross Chop, Leaf Blade, etc...
These moves have a higher chance of dealing a Critical Hit. In fact, their chances of dealing a Critical Hit are doubled.
Rest fully recovers your HP and heals all Status Effects (Burn, Poison, etc.). You go to sleep for the next 2 turns, so your opponent gets the chance to attack twice while you are asleep. Still, it's better than regular sleep, because you will always wake up after two turns when this move is used, instead of it being random.
Outrage, Thrash, and Petal Dance
These moves will attack for 2 or 3 turns with that same move, then confuse the user. During these attacks, the user is uncontrollable; you do not have the choice of using another move or switching out. Even though the user attacks two or three times, it only uses up 1 PP.
When you are Poisoned by Toxic, you lose more HP per round for every round you're not cured. This is a deadly attack indeed. In addition, if Toxic is used by a poison-type pokemon it never misses.
Now, you have learned mostly all you need to know about moves. This section should give you the idea that attacking relentlessly is not the only strategy out there. These moves work well together, and you will learn through experience just as well as reading this guide. For now, try to memorize some of these moves, or constantly refer back to them instead of just saying "I don't have to worry since this move doesn't do damage." This is especially true for the Second Generation, where most battle stalls are so long because these above moves are so effective at preventing your opponent from using damaging moves effectively.