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.

Flail and Reversal are the exact opposite in both ways. This move relies on the user’s HP, and the higher power depends on how low the user’s HP is. Some status afflictions lower a portion of the user’s HP every turn. The condition of Burn and Poison lower HP, while confusion has a 50/50 chance; if the Pokemon confused try to use a move, they could attack themselves, causing damage based on their offensive abilities. Abilities based on HP are not too common among Pokemon that are not starters. Torrent, Blaze, and Overgrow, increase Water, Fire, and Grass-type moves when the Pokemon’s HP is below 1/3 the max.

One ability of Generation V Pokemon I see is Defeatist, the only ability which Archen and Archeops have. This means that once their HP hits the yellow zone (50% or less), they lose half of their Attack and Special Attack. Finally, the way to restore HP is through the Pokemon Center. If you’re not near one, try using items from a Poke Mart, like Potions. You can also find natural items to give a Pokemon to hold, like the Sitrus or Oran Berry. In the words of the person in the Battle Test Facility: “Battle effectively, and keep your Pokemon from fainting”.


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