Priority

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Any messages that have priority over moves - basically, anything that was overlooked; verify Quick Claw's and Custap Berry messages' priority in Generation IV

Priority (Japanese: 先制 preemption) is a characteristic of moves, such that any move with a higher priority than another will always be performed first. When two moves have the same priority, the users' Speed statistics will determine which one is performed first in a battle.

Each move has a hidden priority value in the game data, with values ranging from +5 to -7. The great majority of moves have no special priority: their priority value is 0. A move with a positive priority is a priority move (Japanese: 先制攻撃 preemptive attack). Moves with a positive priority may also be referred to as having an increased priority[1] and moves with a negative priority a decreased priority. In the fandom, moves that have the same priority are said to be in the same priority bracket.

Certain actions always occur before any moves can be performed (with the possible exception of Pursuit). The messages for the activation of Quick Claw, Custap Berry, and O-Powers are always shown before anything else. Switching out, rotating, using items, escaping, and the message that Focus Punch is charging are next. Mega Evolution generally occurs after any switching has occurred. If a Pokémon is Mega Evolving or rotating and using Pursuit on a Pokémon that is switching out, however, the Mega Evolution or rotation always happens before the Pokémon uses Pursuit (and therefore before the other Pokémon's switch).

Pursuit is a special exception to the general rule of priority, due to its effect. Switching fundamentally happens before any moves can be performed, but when Pursuit is targetting a Pokémon that switches out, it will hit the Pokémon before it can switch, meaning that it will go before any other move, no matter its priority. If multiple Pursuits are targetting the same Pokémon and the Pokémon switches out, if the Pokémon faints before all of the Pursuits have executed, the remaining Pursuits will execute at their normal priority.

Pokémon with the Ability Prankster or Gale Wings increase the priority of their status moves or Flying-type moves (respectively) by 1, and Pokémon with Triage increase the priority of their HP-restoring moves to the highest priority.

Move priority is not affected by the effects of Trick Room, which only reverses the Speed-resolved order of moves within a priority bracket; moves with higher priority are still performed before ones with lower priority. Some held items and Abilities also affect a move's resolution within its priority bracket (ignoring even Trick Room), but not the priority itself. The items Full Incense and Lagging Tail and the Ability Stall cause the affected Pokémon to go last in its priority bracket, while the items Quick Claw and Custap Berry cause the user to go first in its priority bracket.

In the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series, priority moves attack the target up to 2 tiles away, due to speed not determining the attacking order. In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky, wild Pokémon may attempt to attack the player or fellow teammate while inside a wall, but only if the foe is 2 tiles away.

Move priority

Generation VI

Priority Moves
+5 Helping Hand
+4 Detect, King's Shield, Magic Coat, Protect, Spiky Shield, Snatch
+3 Endure, Fake Out, Quick Guard, Wide Guard, Crafty Shield
+2 Extreme Speed, Feint, Follow Me, Rage Powder
+1 Ally Switch, Aqua Jet, Baby-Doll Eyes, Bide, Bullet Punch, Ice Shard, Ion Deluge, Mach Punch,
Powder, Quick Attack, Shadow Sneak, Sucker Punch, Vacuum Wave, Water Shuriken
0 All other moves, shifting
-1 Vital Throw
-2 None
-3 Focus Punch
-4 Avalanche, Revenge
-5 Counter, Mirror Coat
-6 Circle Throw, Dragon Tail, Roar, Whirlwind
-7 Trick Room

Generation V

Priority Moves
+5 Helping Hand
+4 Detect, Magic Coat, Protect, Snatch
+3 Endure, Fake Out, Follow Me, Quick Guard, Rage Powder, Wide Guard
+2 ExtremeSpeed, Feint
+1 Ally Switch, Aqua Jet, Bide, Bullet Punch, Ice Shard, Mach Punch,
Quick Attack, Shadow Sneak, Sucker Punch, Vacuum Wave
0 All other moves, shifting
-1 Vital Throw
-2 None
-3 Focus Punch
-4 Avalanche, Revenge
-5 Counter, Mirror Coat
-6 Circle Throw, Dragon Tail, Roar, Whirlwind
-7 Magic Room, Trick Room, Wonder Room, fleeing

Generation IV

Priority Moves
+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 All other moves, fleeing
-1 Vital Throw
-2 None
-3 Focus Punch
-4 Avalanche, Revenge
-5 Counter, Mirror Coat
-6 Roar, Whirlwind
-7 Trick Room

Generation III

Priority Moves
+5 Helping Hand
+4 Magic Coat, Snatch
+3 Detect, Endure, Follow Me, Protect
+2 None
+1 ExtremeSpeed, Fake Out, Mach Punch, Quick Attack
0 All other moves, fleeing
-1 Vital Throw
-2 None
-3 Focus Punch
-4 Revenge
-5 Counter, Mirror Coat, Roar, Whirlwind

Generation II

Priority Moves
+2 Detect, Endure, Protect
+1 ExtremeSpeed, Mach Punch, Quick Attack
0 All other moves
-1 Counter, Mirror Coat, Roar, Whirlwind, Vital Throw

Generation I

Priority Moves
+1 Quick Attack
0 All other moves
-1 Counter

In the anime

Zoey's Glameow using Fake Out before Piplup is able to attack

In the anime, priority is rarely mentioned though priority moves such as Quick Attack are frequently used. Priority was mentioned by Brock in A Grand Fight for Winning!, where Fake Out used by Zoey's Glameow caused Dawn's Piplup to flinch, making him unable to use Hydro Pump.

Trivia

  • Since Focus Punch has a higher priority than Avalanche, Revenge, Dragon Tail, Circle Throw, and Counter, they are unable to break the focus of a Pokémon using Focus Punch. They and Focus Punch are therefore the only six attacks that can strike a Pokémon in the same turn as it successfully uses Focus Punch, without the use of Quash or After You.
  • Hitmontop can learn more moves with non-zero priority than any other Pokémon, with 14 increased priority moves and 2 decreased priority moves.
  • Since charging Focus Punch had a higher priority than switching in Generation III, in a Double Battle, if the player selected Focus Punch then cancelled the selection, then switched that Pokémon out, it would still begin charging Focus Punch before switching. Its high priority also gave it the odd effect of occurring before the opponent used their items or Pokémon were switched out.
  • All moves that have ever had -7 priority have the word "room" in their names.

In other languages

Priority move

Language Title
France Flag.png French Attaque prioritaire
Germany Flag.png German Erstschlag-Attack
Italy Flag.png Italian Mosse che colpire per primi
South Korea Flag.png Korean 선제공격 preemptive attack
Spain Flag.png Spanish Movimiento que se adelanta y ataca primero

References


Project Games logo.png This game mechanic article is part of Project Games, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon games.
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