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Pokemon Mechanics

The "Mechanics" are the way Pokémon works internally - when playing through the games, you can ignore most of the detailed mechanics of the game and still be successful, but to be successful in competitive battling you must understand these and take advantage of them. Remember to add this page to your favorites so you can refer back to this guide.

Type Effectiveness

You are probably familiar with this already. Different types of moves are more or less effective on certain types of Pokémon. A Pokémon's type and the type of moves it uses are huge factors in determining how much damage it takes and can give. The ability for an individual Pokémon or a team of Pokémon to give and take damage effectively across a variety of types is called "Type Coverage". Click this link for a table showing the relationship between each and every type.

STAB (Same Type Attack Bonus)

If an attack is the same type as the user, its power gets multiplied by 1.5. This happens to two different types of attack if the Pokémon in question has two types.

E.g. if a Starly knew aerial ace and steel wing, you may think that steel wing would be stronger as it has 70 base power - more than aerial ace's 60. However, because aerial ace is flying type and Starly is normal/flying, aerial ace gets a power boost, effectively giving it 90 base power. Starly would also get STAB on the normal type move quick attack, raising its base power from 40 to 60.

Physical Physical
Special Special
Not Damaging Not Damaging

Physical or Special?

All damaging moves are either physical or special. Physical moves use the Attack stat and the opponent’s Defence stat, while Special moves use the Special Attack stat and the opponents Special Defence stat. It's important to keep this in mind when building your Pokémon's movesets. You do not want to give a move like Psycho Cut to a Pokémon like Alakazam. Even though Psycho Cut would get STAB, it is a physical move and will not deal much damage due to Alakazam's horrible Attack stat (base 50 Attack compared to 135 Special Attack!) You can find out whether your Pokémon's move is Physical or Special by looking for one of the icons to the left on the move's summary screen.

The tool below allows you to easily compare the physical and special stats of any Pokémon:

Attack
Sp. atk
110
85
Physical
Special
100
87.5
Defense
Sp. def
90
90

Stat Changes

Many moves temporarily change stats (e.g. swords dance raises your Pokémon's attack by two stages, and growl lowers the opposing Pokémon's attack by one stage). To work out what effect these have on the stat, here is a table showing the stat multiplier on each stage.

Stage -6 -5 -4 -3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3 +4 +5 +6
Multiplier 0.25 0.29 0.33 0.4 0.5 0.67 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4

Simply multiply the stat by the multiplier below the stage it has been raised/ lowered to.

When changing the accuracy or evasion stat, it works slightly differently:

Stage -6 -5 -4 -3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3 +4 +5 +6
Multiplier 0.33 0.38 0.43 0.5 0.6 0.75 1 1.33 1.67 2 2.33 2.67 3

Move Priority

Each move has a priority that determines when it is used. The vast majority of moves has zero priority.

6
Switching
5
Helping Hand
4
Magic Coat, Snatch
3
Detect, Endure, Follow Me, Protect
2
Feint
1
Aqua Jet, Bide, Bullet Punch, Extremespeed, Fake Out, Ice Shard, Mach Punch, Quick Attack, Shadow Sneak, Sucker Punch, Vacuum Wave
0
Assist, Me First, Metronome, Mirror Move, Sleep Talk, Everything else
-1
Vital Throw
-2
Focus Punch
-3
Avalanche, Revenge
-4
Counter, Mirror Coat
-5
Roar, Whirlwind
-6
Trick Room

Higher priority moves always hit first. If both Pokémon are using moves with the same priority, the faster one always goes first.

Now that you understand how Pokémon works internally, you can begin the process of shaping a team to defeat all comers, making you Pokémon champion of the world! Maybe...