From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
- This article is about the damage caused by some moves. For the beta name of Magneton, see Magneton.
Recoil (Japanese: 反動 recoil) is the damage taken by the attacking Pokémon when successfully using certain risky moves. In most cases, recoil damage is relative to the damage dealt to the opponent, but in the cases of Struggle (from Generation IV onward) and Shadow End it is instead relative to the user's maximum HP).
The moves Jump Kick and High Jump Kick have a similar mechanic called crash damage. Crash damage is only applied if the move misses, but is similarly dependend on the damage it would have dealt (from Generation II onwards).
The item Life Orb has a similar (but otherwise unrelated) mechanic that causes the holder to lose HP upon executing any move. Unlike the HP loss by Life Orb (a secondary effect that actives after the move is executed), recoil is a primary effect and thus not negated by Sheer Force.
In Pokémon Stadium only, if a recoil move knocks out the opponent, then the user will not take recoil damage.
The Ability Magic Guard prevents most forms of indirect damage, including both recoil and the damage taken from Life Orb. The Ability Rock Head prevents only recoil damage; it does not prevent damage taken from Life Orb. Neither Ability prevents recoil from Struggle, Shadow Rush or Shadow End.
The Ability Reckless increases the power of moves with recoil by 20%, except Struggle. Reckless does not increase the amount of recoil taken directly, but the user will also take 20% more recoil than normal because of the damage increase. Reckless does not increase the bonus or damage taken from Life Orb.
Moves with recoil damage
Moves with crash damage
In the anime
Infernape damaged by recoil
Recoil has been noted multiple times in the anime, most notable after Pikachu uses Volt Tackle. Brock has stated many times that Volt Tackle causes recoil and is very risky.
Ash's Staraptor and Reggie's Staraptor both know Brave Bird, which was stated to do recoil damage, making it a very risky move. The same goes for Flint's Infernape and Ash's Infernape, who both know Flare Blitz, and Roark's Rampardos, who knows Head Smash.
Take Down is referred to as a risky move numerous times in the anime, along with Double-Edge. However, in some early anime episodes, such as The Battle of the Badge, where Ash's Pidgeotto used Double-Edge, it apparently took no recoil damage.
Crash damage has been featured in the anime as well. When Gilbert's Hitmonlee failed to hit Pikachu with High Jump Kick in Saved by the Beldum, it only got hurt itself. Another such case was in Wheel of Frontier, when Greta's Medicham was hurt when its High Jump Kick failed to hit Snorlax. Ash's Scraggy has also got hurt as a result of a missing High Jump Kick. Korrina's Mienfoo took crash damage after Ash's Hawlucha dodged its High Jump Kick in Showdown at the Shalour Gym!.
In The Moment of Lumiose Truth!, Bunnelby was revealed to have learned Wild Charge. However, immediately after using Wild Charge, Bunnelby used Dig to cut down on the effects of recoil damage.
In A Legendary Photo Op!, Ash's Talonflame attempted to use its newly learned Brave Bird to protect Ash and his friends from a wild Moltres. The recoil from the attack exhausted Talonflame, rendering it unable to fly, and it nearly fell into the volcano they had been fighting over.
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