Pokemon HP Mechanics

By Matt

HP, short for Health or Hit Points, is essential to every Pokemon. In battle, HP is marked by the red, yellow, and green zones. The green zone is maximum HP, going all the way to half. The yellow zone is signaling low HP, and ranges from 10-50% of the Pokemon’s maximum HP. The red zone is extremely dangerous, and ranges from 10% down. Now that battle basics are covered, we can cover some moves dealing with HP.

Moves that recover HP give back up to a maximum of half of the user’s maximum HP. Hit Points can also be stolen by Pokemon, mainly used by Grass-types. The most common move we know is Leech Seed, which steals 1/8 of the target’s HP each turn. HP-draining moves like Giga Drain or Leech Life are instantaneous, and can recover up to half of the HP done.

Stat moves that deal with HP are in abundance as well. Substitute is a special move in which Ľ of the maximum HP of a Pokemon is taken, and a “substitute” (a toy sprite in battles) replaces the Pokemon. Belly Drum will take away half of the user’s maximum HP to maximize the Attack stat. Curse, for Ghost-types, takes some of the user’s HP, but takes some of the target’s HP each turn. There are many variations of moves which deal with HP. For example, Eruption is based on the opponent’s remaining HP. Its max base power can be 150, which is what happens if you use the move when the target is at full HP. The lowest power you can get is 1, which is what happens when the target is at 1 HP. The formula is to multiply the opponent’s current HP by 150. After you divide by the target’s max HP, you get the base power.
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Pokemon Protection Mechanics

By Matt

Some of the highest priority moves are ones that provide protection. These moves can help in a sticky situation, and there are many variations of being protected from a foe’s attacks. The basic ones are Protect and Detect. Although the force or logic the moves are unclear, it allows the user to evade all attacks from the opponent. What does this mean? The Pokemon will not take damage from any move, no matter the accuracy. However, there are a few ways around these barriers.

The first strategy is to use a 100% accuracy move, like Lock-on or Mind Reader. Even though the target uses Protect or Detect, the move will still land. The move Feint was created to break through Protect and Detect, but its base power is very weak.

Future Sight is another way to deal damage to an overprotective opponent. The damage occurs at the end of the turn, and Protect and Detect won’t have any effect preventing the user from damage. These strategies are uncommon, but do not have to be the first priority.

Protect and Detect’s second effect is that the chance of it failing increases each time it is used successively. In other words, if it is used once, there is a 100% chance it will work. The second time, the rate of success will go down slowly. There is some chance that it will fail, so it’s sort of a small gamble. If you’re lucky, you can go up to three and even four times in a row, the latter of which is extremely rare. The moves that were introduced in Pokemon Generation V have a different effect.

The first of these moves is Quick Guard, which does what it says. More specifically, it prevents the user from being hit by priority moves, like Quick Attack. The flaw to this move is that Trainers have an easy time navigating around this move. The chance of your opponent using a priority move may vary, and this move takes up one slot in your Pokemon’s moveset. It is a very risky move, but can be used when in a pinch.
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Pokemon One-Hit KO Moves (OHKOs)

By Matt

These acronyms might be getting to you, but this one is a classic. An OHKO stands for One-Hit Knock Out, which does what it sounds. Many use this term to describe a powerful move that easily takes out its opponent with one hit (at full HP), but today I’m going to talk about OHKO moves. These are considered to be some of the most powerful moves, and four of them exist. They are limited to a select amount of Pokemon, and almost no legends can learn them. OHKO moves, if they hit, takes out all the HP of a Pokemon.

First, let’s discuss game mechanics on OHKO moves. All OHKO moves have been set to 30% accuracy, and have 5 PP, making them not too overpowered. Items and moves can bring up the accuracy, making them dreaded, but not very common in competitive battles, since they take more than one turn for a sure-fire hit. Let’s take some hold items and other factors in. If we have the Zoom Lens, it increases accuracy by 20% if the user moves after its target. That means it’s just a coin flip if your Pokemon is slow-moving, giving it a better chance. The Wide Lens increases accuracy by 10% with no conditions, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

Using a move like Mind Reader or Lock-On will ensure that your next attack hits, which is why many don’t use OHKO moves. By the next turn, the opponent will have caught on to the Pokemon with that move and have all moves directed to it. In other words, slow Pokemon are out of luck. Another drawback to OHKO moves are that they are treated like moves, and cannot go through moves like Protect. They also cannot hit opponents that are using Fly, Dive, etc.
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All About Pokemon: Tepig, Pignite, And Emboar

By Emily

Its cuteness is hard to deny, not to mention its impressive stats for being a base level Pokemon. But as Tepig evolves, its strength increases at the cost of its original cuteness. Such power and versatility makes Emboar a force to be recon with, and its pre-evolved form Tepig is conveniently enough one of the possible starter Pokemon you can choose.

Being both Fire and Fighting type, Emboar is weak to many different types of Pokemon. But all of its attacks, when used wisely, can defeat almost any Pokemon it comes up against. Hammer Arm and Gyro Ball make a perfect combo, with the Steel-type Gyro Ball increasing in strength every time Hammer Arm is used. Grass Knot and Scald may not seem like attacks a Fire type should be able to learn, but they come in very handy and can help to overcome some of this character’s weaknesses. For those who like daring attacks, Emboar can also learn Wild Charge and Stone Edge. These two moves deal a good amount of damage but are both a little risky to use. Stone Edge has reduced accuracy, which may be a liability for a Pokemon with such low defenses, but Flying types hardly stand a chance against it. Water types can easily be taken down by Wild Charge, but the recoil from a Super Effective attack may pose a risk to Emboar.

Tepig can learn a wide array of egg moves, some of which can be extremely useful. Curse may not appear useful as it takes away from the user’s Speed stat, but increasing an already high Attack stat may very well make the attack worthwhile. Thrash and Magnitude have some usefulness, though Thrash’s typing and Magnitude’s risk of dealing low damage may make these along the lines of novelty attacks.
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All About Pokemon Oshawott, Dewott, And Samurott

By Emily

The last of the three starter Pokemon of the fifth generation, Oshawott stands out as the oddest character of the three. Its body doesn’t flow like Snivy’s. It looks much more jumbled together compared to the Fire Pig Tepig. But Oshawott does have one major advantage, and that’s in its truly awesome stage 2 evolution, Samurott. Not only does Samurott look strong, its stat spread and fairly versatile move pool options allow this character to carve out a special niche in a team.

Like the other Unova starter Pokemon, Oshawott has a fairly decent stat spread, with Special Attack being by far its greatest asset. As it evolves into Samurott, Attack catches up and in the end both physical and special type moves are viable options for Samurott. Despite the great attack stats, Speed and Special Defense lack a bit of luster. Such a comparatively low Speed stat will require being able to hit hard and the unappealing Special Defense means that Samurott has to have a back-up plan in the event that the opponent uses a strong special attack against it.

Defense-wise, Encore can be used to get the opponent to use only one move for multiple turns, which may in the end prove to be very useful. This attack can possibly be used in junction with Revenge if the opponent’s last move did little damage to Samurott. A base power of 120 can be more than enough to make plenty of Pokemon faint. Other strong physical attacks such as the egg move Night Slash or HM move Waterfall can vie as possible alternatives for defeating more types of Pokemon, though the other TM options are too numerous to list.

Oshawott’s signature move Razor Shell has slightly lower accuracy than most other attacks, but with the added possibility of lowering the opponent’s Defense, considering this attack my be worth-while. With help from the Move Tutor, Samurott can also learn the very strong attack Megahorn. It sacrifices accuracy for power, but it can be used against a multitude of Pokemon and do quite a bit of damage.
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Pokemon Recoil

By Matt

Recoil, another essential part to the world of Pokemon, has its pros and cons. First of all, moves that result in recoil damage tend to be fairly powerful and can be used as much as the average move. Recoil, through much thoughtful thinking, can be avoided, and a team dedicated to using recoil moves can be skillfully crafted. Let’s discuss the good part of recoil moves first. They all have a base power close to 100 or higher. They are all physical attacks, utilizing the user’s Attack stat. They also come in many types so even weaknesses can be covered. You also have a chance of taking Pokemon out in one hit.

These all do sound like good opportunities, but keep in mind the harmful side effects: recoil. Recoil moves are categorized into either 1/4th, 1/3rd, or ˝ HP recoil. Depending on how much damage in HP is dealt, the user will also take damage. For example, if a Pokemon used Wild Charge and did 100 HP worth of damage, it would take 25 HP damage, since Wild Charge is a 1/4th HP recoil move. If your Pokemon was hit by a move that consumed almost all of its HP, it would then seal its own fate: a recoil move, if used last, can be fatal, taking out the last points of HP. But it comes up to planning which moves to keep and to use. The four moves that have 1/4th HP recoil are Head Charge, Submission, Take Down, and Wild Charge. These aren’t too powerful, but at least the consequences aren’t that great.

The five moves that have 1/3rd HP recoil are Brave Bird, Double-edge, Flare Blitz, Volt Tackle, and Wood Hammer. All of these moves are 100% accurate and do 120 damage, but require at least 1/3rd of the user’s HP if it wishes to survive after using the move. I forgot to mention that one hit KOs can severely damage the user, taking up to 1/3rd of its HP even at max health. Watch the HP bar carefully before planning these moves.
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Pokemon Entry Hazards

By Matt

Starting in Generation IV, Entry Hazards are a new game mechanic that can disrupt the flow of battle. These are great moves for competitive play, since switching out Pokemon and taking no damage for it have frustrated players. These moves are Spikes, Toxic Spikes, and Stealth Rock. Each one is unique and has its own characteristic to add to the battle.

Let’s start with Spikes, a Normal-type move. It is the considered the most basic Entry Hazard, but using it even once can help topple a formidable opponent. Spikes, when used, are followed by the message, “Spikes were scattered around your team’s feet”. This means that switching out your Pokemon (this includes force-switching, like using Roar, Whirlwind, etc.) will cause the Pokemon that takes its place to take damage. When this happens, they will take damage equal to 1/8 of their maximum HP. Since Spikes is a ground-based move, it will not affect Flying-type Pokemon or those with the ability Levitate. They will still be out there for the next Pokemon, so the effort is never in vain.

Another pro to this move is that it can be used to a maximum of three times and still do damage. The first layer takes out 1/8 of the maximum HP, the second one takes 1/6, and the third (and any subsequent layers) will drain Ľ of the opponent’s HP. It is a time-consuming strategy, but it will be worth the effort. Toxic Spikes is built off of Spikes, but has a slightly different effect: it doesn’t take out HP. When Toxic Spikes are in effect, the Pokemon that comes out will be poisoned and take out 1/8 of its HP each turn. Like Spikes, you can add layers, but the maximum is at number two. However, instead of poisoning the opponent, it will badly poison them, taking out even more HP each turn.
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Pokemon Weight Mechanics

By Matt

Since the beginning of the game, each Pokemon has a specific weight in pounds or kilograms, based on the version (language) of your game. This can be viewed in the Pokedex, and in HeartGold/SoulSilver, you could compare your trainer and that certain Pokemon on a scale. Generation III, with Ruby and Sapphire versions, started using two moves which would determine damage based on the target’s weight.

Low Kick actually started from Generation I, having a constant base power. In battle, weight plays a small part in battle strategies, as weight does not determine the Speed stat. However, the weight of a Pokemon foreshadows its Speed; heavy figures tend to move slower in battle, with a few exceptions.

In Generation V, more moves are being created that deal with weight. A common move used is Grass Knot, which is a Special attack. Since all nations except for the United States use the metric system, weight categories are separated into six groups: under 10 kg, 10-25 kg, 25-50 kg, 50-100 kg, 100-200 kg, and over 200 kg. Grass Knot (Grass-type and special) and Low Kick (Fighting-type and physical) both use these categories, and its power is predetermined to do 20, 40, 60, 80, 100, or 120 damage.

Generation V introduced Heavy Bomber, the Steel-type move, and Heat Stamp, the Fire-type move, both of which are physical. Contrary to Grass Knot and Low Kick, these moves factor in the user’s weight. The added twist is that power is determined based on how heavier the user is than the target, which is categorized into five groups: if the target is 50% of the user’s weight, 33-50%, 25-33%, 20-25%, and less than 20%. The damage is massive: 40, 60, 80, 100, and 120, respectively. The only weight-based status move that exists right now is Body Purge, a Steel-type move which doubles its Speed in return for halving its weight. Hold items were made to influence or discourage weight-based moves. For example, the Float Stone halves a Pokemon’s weight, discouraging Low Kick or Grass Knot.
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Pokemon Hidden Abilities

By Matt

Formerly called Dream World Abilities, Hidden Abilities add another twist to Pokemon. It’s not another game mechanic, but a new feature. But what are Hidden Abilities? They are abilities that differ from a Pokemon’s normal ability. For example, Snivy’s Hidden Ability is Contrary, a new Ability introduced in Generation V which reverses the effects of stat changes. For example, if Snivy is hit by a move like Growl, which lowers Attack, it would now raise its Attack. However, to get this unique brand of Snivy, you would have to be lucky enough to encounter it in the Dream World, and befriend it, of course. The Pokemon can also inherit different Abilities if it evolves. Its evolution may have different Abilities, but it does not happen too often. The Hidden Ability may either be helpful or harmful, depending on the Pokemon. I’ve already given an example: Snivy’s Contrary, which passes on to Servine and Serperior, will prevent against stat-changing moves. An example of a harmful Hidden Ability is Klutz, which prevents the Pokemon from using all hold items that do not deal with experience (EXP Share, Macho Brace, etc.).

The TV in the game which broadcasts the show “What’s That?” says that a Pokemon with Klutz could even hold an Iron Ball without being weighed down. However, Hidden Abilities may not be able to be passed on by breeding, since certain Pokemon found in the Dream World are males. If you’re knowledgeable on breeding, you would know that only female Pokemon can pass their Ability (in this case, Hidden Ability) to their offspring. Also, Pokemon that are genderless, such as Porygon-Z, cannot breed. A comprehensive list of Pokemon with their Hidden Abilites, as well as their availability as females can be found in Serebii. The most Pokemon that are coveted are starters, but as of now, their Abilities cannot be passed down. Therefore, EV training at level 10 should be sufficient, even though the nature may be incorrect. Currently, Johto starters are the only ones that are not available through the Dream World, and countries outside of Japan are still waiting to get more kinds of Pokemon.
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Pokemon Stat Changes (Status Afflictions)

By Matt

To make battles even more exciting (and more unpredictable), status conditions were added in addition to stat modifications. A status condition is one of the following: Poisoned (PSN), Burned (BRN), Paralyzed (PAR), Sleep (SLP), Frozen (FRZ), or Confused. You may know these exist, but not of their hidden effects, so let’s go over them one by one.

Poison is the status affliction which takes away HP over time. There is no change to the Pokemon’s stats: it just pressures them into making better moves before they faint. These kinds of moves are usually utilized by Grass- and Poison-types, and a particular move, Toxic, will “badly poison the opponent”. Normal poisoning (PoisonPowder, the ability Poison Point, etc.) takes out 1/8 of the opponent’s HP every turn. Moves like Toxic will start out with 1/16 HP loss, but increase by 1/16 over time. That means by the 4th turn of severe poisoning, 5/8 of the Pokemon’s HP will be lost (1/16 + 2/16 + 3/16 + 4/16).

The condition Burned may not be as harsh, but is still a major setback. These kinds of moves are used by Grass- or Fire-types. Like poison, the Pokemon will lose 1/8 HP each turn. But, hidden out of sight, the Pokemon’s Attack will lower two stages (that’s half of the Attack gone, if you’ve read about Stat Modifications).

You can use Will-o-wisp for a sure-fire burn, or a move with a side effect of burn (like Scald). Paralysis does not cause any HP loss, but makes the playing field fairer for slow Pokemon.
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